If you were looking forward to the theater reopening, I sincerely apologize for the following phrase. You’ll be greeted with a big billboard of James Corden’s smarmy rabbit Peter Rabbit when you visit your favorite movie palace.
And also, Peter Rabbit 2 may be the least welcome return since the pandemic’s second wave for Beatrix Potter’s classic stories fans. Thankfully, Peter is a much-changed bunny in this long-awaited family excursion.
“Does my voice irritate you?” our unexpectedly introspective hero wonders. Barnabas, Lennie James’ new rabbit, comments, “It’s a little polarizing, but I like it.”
Not just the bunny seemed to have learned a valuable lesson. Will Gluck, who returns as director, has realized that a more subdued hero makes for a more significant. And considerably less “polarizing” sequel.
Best bunny Peter fights the desire to sow mayhem at his surrogate mother Bea’s (Rose Byrne) wedding to his erstwhile adversary Thomas (Domhnall Gleeson). But his animosity rises when Bea’s new publisher, Nigel, overlooks his efforts to mend his habits (David Oyelowo).
In her next novel, Bea decides to create Peter, a more evil character, when Nigel persuades her. The heroes will be the rabbit sisters Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail (voiced by Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, and Aimee Horne, respectively). And Peter will be the “bad seed.”
As a result, an enraged Peter flees to London, where he joins a gang of animal hoodlums plotting “the biggest farmers’ market theft in the history.”
The crime narrative is full of comedy for youngsters. Still, this time it’s spiced up with cutting lines (a Scouse rat is hilarious) and anarchist satire about great stories that commercial interests have corrupted.
We can now cheer for the hairy hero as he tries to overcome his selfish tendencies. His voice, on the other hand, continues to irritate me.
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