The YA novel-to-multiplex craze is in its death throes. The final movie in theDivergent series – whatever “-ent” or “-ant” it is – is skipping theaters altogether after the tepid response to Allegiant. The sameness within the genre has made it long stale.
Based on the dark fantasy novel by Ransom Riggs and under the direction of Tim Burton, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children had the potential to be different. Instead, any fun oddities or fresh takeaways are buried under a customary 21st century YA sheen that combines Harry Potter with X-Men. The whimsical elements and the outsider hero story don’t mesh at all and the rambling film becomes a slog through endless, uninteresting plotting.
As it goes with Antoine Fuqua’s features, masculinity and morality are at the forefront of The Magnificent Seven. It would seem, then, that a cast full of compelling actors and material derived from Akira Kurosawa and John Sturges would be a perfect fit for the director’s sensibilities. However, this updated take not only lacks the emotional heft of Seven Samurai and the fun of 1960’s Magnificent Seven, it also fails to rise to Fuqua’s usual level of testosterone or lower to his depictions of ethical depravity.