Director: Will Gluck
Starring: James Corden, Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Daisy Ridley, Elizabeth Debicki, David Oyelowo and Lennie James
Run time: 1h 33min
After making over $350,000,000 in 2018, Peter Rabbit was always going to get another bite of the carrot. In Peter Rabbit 2, most of the main players from the first film are returning and are joined by newcomers Lennie James and David Oyelowo.
Now a happily married couple, Bea (Byrne) and Thomas (Gleeson) run a successful shop in their local village selling the picture books Bea has written about Peter (Corden) and his friend’s adventures. When big-shot publisher Basil (Oyelowo) slides into town, Bea falls for his fast-talking corporate jargon and before you can say, “put the bunny back in the box”, her artistic sensibilities are threatened by the lure of financial gain.
Meanwhile, Peter’s struggling to find his place in life. Resentful of the bad-boy image that seems to follow him and is being encouraged by Basil, he finds himself falling in with Barnabas (James) and his gang of street-wise petty thieves. Will Peter continue his downward spiral or will there be a hoppy ending?
If you enjoyed the first film, you’ll enjoy this one. It’s very self-aware with winks and nudges to the audience throughout and poking fun at James Corden’s mixed popularity. It’s crammed full of charm, warmth and wit with a whole lotta love at its heart. Even though it leaves its rural roots behind to explore the backstreets and alleyways of the big city, there are plenty of slapstick moments to entertain and an Ocean’s Eleven style montage to introduce a heist works well.
Domhnall Gleeson showcases his comedic skills superbly again, but Rose Byrne as Bea seems to have undergone a personality change. After being the rabbit’s protector and champion she far too quickly sells them out and compromises her integrity in a manner that seemed very out of character. In her defence, it’s easy to be seduced by David Oyelowo’s charms and he smarms it up magnificently. Lennie James brings his gritty London toughness to add some edge to the niceties.
“We didn’t think we’d get this far” quips Peter, addressing the camera directly. Well, there’s much to enjoy about director Will Gluck’s interpretation of Beatrix Potter’s creations and if they remain this much fun, lettuce hope for another adventure soon!