Life & Culture

Film review: Peter Rabbit 2


As cinemas start to reopen amidst more uncertainty, the few film distributors that weathered the storm instead of jumping on the digital release bandwagon will be nervous to see how their titles are likely to perform. One of those titles finally seeing a theatrical release this week is Will Gluck’s long awaited sequel to his 2018 adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit.

With the success of her book about Peter (voiced by James Corden) and his friends, Bee (Rose Byrne), who is now married to Thomas (Domhnall Gleeson), is persuaded by unscrupulous publisher Nigel Basil-Jones (a hilarious turn by David Oyelowo) to sign a new book deal. Unhappy with the story’s new direction which paints him as the villain, Peter leaves his friends behind and falls in with some shady characters in the big city. Meanwhile, Bee and Thomas are at loggerheads over Nigel’s heavy-handed approach to modernising his wife’s story in order to sell more books.

Gluck and co-writer Patrick Burleigh present a charmingly off-kilter film full of surreal gags and slapstick moments. With a fair bit of self-reflexive flair, one gets the sense that the duo have managed to capitalise on the criticism directed at their first film and responded accordingly. The frequent references to Peter’s “annoying” persona are often funny and charmingly self-deprecating, even when they’re slightly overdone. Furthermore, Corden, as irritating as some might have found him him earlier, delivers a rather charming turn full of humour and chaotic candour.

Overall, Peter Rabbit 2 is hugely entertaining and considerably less twee than its predecessor. While Byrne and Gleeson are very likeable, it is the addition of Oyelowo as the smarmy lothario that ties the whole thing together rather nicely. I loved every second of it.



Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive