‘Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway’ is a Story About Identity, Perception, and Change

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Hey, Hollywooders! What’s Good in the ‘Wood?

I just got back from seeing Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, one of the many new movie releases out now in movie theaters.

I took a look at movie theaters near me to compare movie showtimes and settled on going to the 4:20 p.m. movie showtime at the Regal theater near me. I purchased my tickets in advance, so all I had to do was use a QR code to retrieve my tickets. I normally buy my tickets the day of, but I found that buying the tickets in advance was easier, and I was able to arrive later than I normally would. I purchased some movie theater popcorn with my partner, and we proceeded to find our movie theater, which was wedged in a back corner behind The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It and A Quiet Place Part II. I laughed at the placement and made my way into the theater.

It was really empty, with the only other people present being a family. We settled down into our seats with our snacks, and I found myself really excited as the previews came on. While I have watched more than a dozen movies on numerous streaming platforms, the carefully curated previews and big screen reminded me of some of the many reasons I go to the movie theater near me.

If you have an interest in going back to theaters soon, I’d recommend checking out our handy guide with tips for safely going back.

What is Peter Rabbit 2 about?

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (directed by Will Gluck) is a sequel to Peter Rabbit and is inspired by the book series by Beatrix Potter. It is a live-action/computer-animated adventure comedy that follows Peter Rabbit (voiced by James Corden) as he experiences life changes surrounding his family and identity.

Peter’s former rival, Thomas McGregor (played by Domhnall Gleeson), marries Bea (played by Rose Byrne), whom he regards as a mother. Meanwhile, Bea is being considered for a book deal that reimagines her world away from her own vision and paints Peter as the bad seed of his group. When his family agrees with this characterization, Peter has to consider who he is and who he wants to be within the world and within his family.

The movie also stars Elizabeth Debicki (voicing Mopsy), Margo Robbie (voicing Flopsy), Aimee Horne (voicing Cottontail), Colin Moody (voicing Benjamin), Lennie James (voicing Barnabas), and many more.

Fun subplots and commentary

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway follows several stories at once. Peter Rabbit’s story is about figuring out his own identity. Is he just mischievous, or is he a bad seed? It’s also about Bea and Thomas’s relationship post being married and the expectations that come along with that. Bea has a separate story about her writing’s integrity that includes commentary about money, the concept of selling out, and what she really wants from publishing. Thomas also has a separate story about fatherhood and family life. Amongst this, there is also a heist mission followed by a rescue mission (plus the normal amount of slapstick humor).

The film can be enjoyed by all ages. The children behind me in the theater were laughing practically non-stop, and the commentary aspect was definitely directed toward adults. The commentary tackles the book and film industries, but there are several jokes about what it’s like to be an adult. I found myself smiling throughout the experience, not only because of the kids’ commentary as they enjoyed the movie but also because it was an enjoyable film.

Representation of a different kind of family

The film’s subplot following the relationship between Peter Rabbit and Thomas McGregor hit me particularly hard. The film paints Bea as the mother to the group of rabbits, and she considers them her family. Meanwhile, her new husband doesn’t see them as family but as a bunch of rabbits. He’s more hopeful about starting his “real” family and having children, while Bea is happy with her husband and current family.

It questions what a family really is and shows what it’s like to have a new member added to your family through marriage. While I’ve seen plenty of movies that involve a new parent being added to a family, this one is for children. It could be representation for those with divorced parents who are remarrying or anyone who has someone they consider a guardian with a new partner. As someone with divorced parents, having a movie like this when I was younger would have been something I could have related to in a time when I didn’t know anyone else with my experience.

Beyond just having a diverse family dynamic, Peter Rabbit takes on the role of being “the problem child” of his family. Changing the narrative is incredibly difficult for him, even when he’s doing the right thing. He has to grapple between being who others expect him to be and trying to change perception while knowing that the worst will always be what people think first. His dialogue about this experience and the way McGregor perceives him gives the movie an emotional undertone that many people can relate to.

What others thought about Peter Rabbit 2

I enjoyed the movie, but I wanted to see what other fans had to say.

Andy said the film was great to kick off returning to theaters.

Kevin said he loved the humor of the film.

This reviewer said he loved the movie more than the kids.

Susan said she loved the message.

In The Guardian’s review of the film, writer Wendy Ide says, “There are some genuinely funny moments, and the madcap action set pieces — particularly a farmers’ market heist — are giddily inventive.”

Mike Reyes of Cinemablend says, “Much like any good sequel is supposed to do, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway amps up the stakes for animals and humans alike in the story.”

I personally liked Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway more than the original because it went beyond the slapstick humor that was consistent in the previous movie. The movie hinted that there could potentially be another film in the future as well. If you go to see the film in theaters, stay for the midscene credits!

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