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Peter Rabbit Suffers From A Case Of Over-Cuteness

Peter Rabbit

Starring Domhall Gleeson, Rose Byrne

Directed  by Will Gluck

Rating: **(2 stars)
 It was 29 years ago that  the idea of yoking an animation  version of a rabbit with live characters was tried with handsome results in  Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

It is rather significant that Peter Rabbit , an uneasy successor to Roger Rabbit, is  so  taken up with the idea of being ‘cool’ on  camera that  he often forgets to  be himself. The rabbit is  so bogged  down by the efforts to  outdo his enemies  that he ends up enjoying the inchoate vendetta plan  more than we  do.

Throughout the mildly engaging  yet distinctly dull and uninspired film a sense of selfconscious sweetness is instilled with the  firmness  of  a clown at a kiddies’ birthday party whom  no one  is particular  interested  in watching doings his antics.

 The sweeter Peter Rabbbit(speaking with flippant authority in the voice  of  James Corden)and his pals, cousin Benjamin and  three sisters,   attempt to be  in  the quest for  the Perfect Summer Family Entertainment, the more cloyingly annoying the proceedings get.

The arrival in the  verdant  countryside  of  Thomas(Domhnall Gleeson) to claim his uncle’s  property and  mansion ,  sets off a  chain of ownership skirmishes between Thomas and the rabbit inhabitants who think they own the property where they have blissfully trespassed . Not only Thomas uncle’s property but also Thomas’s future beloved Bea(Rose Byrne) who adores rabbits, spends time befriending, nurturing and  painting them.

Awwwwww!  Before we all perish of  congenital diabetes the film decides  to get aggressive and violent piling on gunshots and  explosives  in the  tussle . The episodes where the rabbits take on Thomas headlong, are so  violent, they made me wonder how much of this will be okayed for  viewing by  the parents  of children whom this rabbit-hole trivia is aimed at.

 There are no truly inspired moments in Peter Rabbit. We never get  a chance to cheer Peter and his pals’ prankish wickedness as  it get progressively dark and violent. However some of the Rabbit family’s outrage as  Bea(Rose  Byrne) gets  close to the Londoner (who has just been sacked from his sales assistant’s job at Harrods) is  recorded with  a winking warmth.

 Clearly these rabbits won’t have the tall cranky stranger sweeping  sweet Bea off her feet. They will do anything to  prevent it. While Bea remains supremely impervious  to the game of one-upmanship played out  between  her beau and her rabbit friends the ongoing battle set off at a war-like pace with no respite for  a graceful merger  of the human and animation characters.

 Peter Rabbit is strictly a  one-view timepass view with a  few smile-a-while moments but nothing to laugh out loud about. Very honestly our own Blackmail being released this week is far more wacky and liberated  from  the responsibilities  of providing wholesome laughter. Peter Rabbit is so  conscious of  providing proper amusement  that  it forgets to let go and enjoy the chaotic confection that it so generously welcomes.

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