This Week's Reviews: "The 15:17 to Paris" and "Peter Rabbit"

My weekly pilgrimage for February 10 to the movie theater was barely worth the time.

My first choice was Clint Eastwood’s “The 15:17 to Paris.” I may have had false expectations about the retelling of the recent terrorist atrocity stopped by three Americans, but I was not impressed. The actual incident only took a few minutes, so much of the film retells the childhood and adolescence of the three heroes. This was thin, very thin, gruel. 

Much has been made of Eastwood’s casting of the three heroes as themselves. By and large, they do well, but some of the dialogue is poorly delivered. The action sequences, when they finally come, are well done. Even so, the film never lives up to its potential.

My second film was the new version of “Peter Rabbit.” I first saw the trailer for it in December, and put it on my list of “possibles.” It was not a bad choice, but the screaming children reminded me of my reasons for eschewing such films. Every child in the theater seems to feel obligated to warn the characters whenever they were in danger. My eardrums are still throbbing. Grandparents, be warned!

The film is a clever retelling of the original Beatrix Potter story. Mr. McGregor is meaner than I remembered, and his heir is not much nicer, at least until he meets his attractive neighbor. The animation is very well done. I have heard that there is some controversy about a scene involving anaphylactic shock, but I didn’t see anything objectionable in that scene.

The film is violent; in many ways it reminded me of some of the more anarchistic Bugs Bunny cartoons which helped warp my sense of humor. (Well, we have to blame someone!)