Miss Peregrine is whimsical and far-too familiar

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” is very close to greatness, especially coming from the predictably stylistic director, Tim Burton, who manages to bring out his best work since Sweeney Todd.

The movie features a cast of quirky characters consisting of mostly teens and children placed in a whimsical institution, protected against a villainous force.

Secluded teenager, played by Asa Butterfield, fulfills a special destiny, and is considered the greatest by other characters based on his lineage or something.

Finally, adults are the parental and authority figures of the story, who are generally there to look cool and never feel like they do much, even though they have the most powerful skills at their disposal.

Eva Green fills that role as the titular character.

What other films could be described based on these qualities? Hunger Games? Percy Jackson and the Olympians? Divergent?

A way this film ends up mixing up the young-adult fiction vibe is using another popular genre of the decade: superhero movies; particularly in the flavor of the X-men.

Instead of mutants, we get “peculiars,” people who have a sort-of superpower that ostracizes them from the rest of society.

These people are put under the care of a head figure of a household, located in a never-ending time loop.

Unfortunately much of the bad about this movie is how the plot aims at the young-adult fantasy fans very aggressively.

Like many that had come after the Potter films, much of the premiere flicks of these trending franchises are a slog to get through.

Setting up the world is important, and this film actually manages to do this in the quickest and most efficient way possible.

Boring human stuff? Gone. Cool powers and significant plot lines? Gets straight to it.

On the other hand, quick exposition and a voice-over narrative is not a great start, especially if it is put to a pause in the middle of the film, where they later force people to understand time-travel and reality bending rules.

It is a film that is not afraid to push the boundaries of its PG-13, which allows Burton to evoke his creepy style of death and light-hearted humor that has felt absent or perhaps overplayed in many of his recent films.

Of course, a great cast was also a high point throughout most of the film, with Butterfield carrying the movie.

Butterfield yet again plays well on the role of main protagonist in a film adaptation of a young-adult novel, see “Ender’s Game.”

Green fills that role as the titular character, which she pulls off remarkably well with beauty and a captivating performance.

After much of the film takes time explaining the background and universe given, there’s great chemistry to have between the peculiars.

The setting and the incredible visuals give off an awe, and even a nod to filmmakers such as Harryhausen, along with creepy creatures and special effects.

As soon as it gets to the final act, the film really pulls out some great set pieces, but never hits that hard-hitting conclusion that most superhero films seem to create.

An exciting and captivating return from Burton, this film feels stuck at being ambitious, but repetitive in its delivery, even when pushing just as hard to be an entertaining film.