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Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (2021) – Review: A Delightfully Odd Sequel That Features Domhnall Gleeson Rolling Down a Hill

September 17, 2021

Quick thoughts: Grade – B+ – Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway is a delightfully weird sequel that features offbeat humor, committed performances, and Domhnall Gleeson rolling down a hill. 

If you’re looking for a film that features dried fruit heists, jogging foxes, and a rabbit getting totally blasted on Jelly Beans, it doesn’t get any better than Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway. What’s beautiful about the sequel is that it sticks to the madcap vibe of its 2018 predecessor, and doesn’t lose track of why the first movie was such a success (boths films are insane). People watching the original in 2018 were treated to a gonzo PG-rated film that featured a subplot about a rabbit delightfully breaking its ribs, while still managing to feature character development and a wild amount of comical violence done to poor Domhnall Gleeson. The sequel essentially turns everything up to 11, but it still doesn’t leave behind the character moments that make these movies unique. The credit goes to returning director/writer Will Gluck, who expands the world, and managed to bring back the majority of the voice and acting talent who made the first film so fun (Daisy Ridley is missed this time around though). 

Peter Rabbit 2 focuses on two separate subplots involving the success of Bea’s (Rose Byrne) Peter Rabbit books, and Peter (James Corden) dealing with being labeled a “bad seed” because of them. The success of the books puts Bea and Thomas (Domhnall Gleeson) in the sites of book publisher (and pugilist) Nigel Basil-Jones (David Oyelowo), who wants to put a modern spin the characters, which will guarantee massive sales, but will eliminate the souls of the characters. The problem with the popularity of the books is that they paint Peter in a negative light, which leads him to meeting an unscrupulous rabbit named Barnabas (Lennie James), who convinces Peter, Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki), Cotton-tail (Aimee Horne) and Benjamin (Colin Moody) to rob a farmer’s market loaded with dried fruit and expensive bath bombs. Eventually, the two stories intertwine, and it leads to a cheeky rescue mission that features a deer and a parachute. 

What makes the franchise so endearing is how it embraces odd humor and self-awareness. Whether it’s Gleeson rolling down a hill, or a lovable rabbit almost becoming stew, the movies aren’t afraid to polarize with offbeat humor that allows Corden to wonder if his voice really is annoying (WHAAAAAAATTT!!!). This is what sets the franchise apart from other PG-rated properties, because it rarely plays it totally safe, and it’s never afraid to be silly. 

Final thoughts – Make sure to listen to the epic podcast episode we recorded about the 2018 film. Stay tuned for another epic episode about Peter Rabbit 2.

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