who’s Peter Crouch
One of my favorite John Cleese and Harry Potter films was Who’s Peter Crouch. While it did not quite live up to the standards of the Harry Potter series, it was an entertaining comedy that had great comic relief. This article covers the first half of the movie, when Crouch is in prison for his part in the Potter scandal. I hope it will be enjoyed by many.
The plot of the movie is simple. A former student of a well know crime lord, named Peter Croucher (Cary Elwes) tries to free his friend from prison. He does this by enlisting some help from some British terrorists that are running around London trying to help the law enforcement officials catch the terrorist. The two sides join together to fight off the terrorists.
One of the first things we see in the beginning is a scene from the Daily Prophet in which Croucher is being interviewed by an intern. While doing so, he accidentally drops his pen, which ends up in the hands of the reporter. The jolt to the butt makes him duck out of the way, and the reporter gets his article printed the next day. Two minutes later Croucher walks into the newsroom with one of his trademark trench coats on and starts telling his story to the stunned reporter.
Of course by the end of the film we know that Croucher is indeed a crime boss with a penchant for power and violence. He is the perfect foil to one of the main characters in this movie, the blond British lady named Remus (Jenna McEwan). Remus is the woman Harry met in Hogsmeade, while he was there investigating a murder. While looking over a crime scene, Remus catches Croucher torturing a captured rat to death with a bolt of lightning. He then confronts Croucher about the details of his past, and in the end Croucher runs off to get reinforcements, leaving Remus behind. As the credits roll we are treated to a montage of the major incidents that were part of the original crime story, and then we cut to Croucher at his desk in his trademark trench coat, waiting to be interviewed by a news agency.
One thing that strikes me as odd about Who’s Peter Croucher is the apparent unity of the character. There is no way that any character could have gotten through Hogsmeade in a time frame like this, not to mention the wild coincidences that occur throughout the film. For instance, at one point in the movie Remus’ friend Marlow enters the store, but when Peter arrives he’s already gone. This only adds more confusion to the already confusing story. It also doesn’t help that the writers decided to include a twist ending where Peter discovers that Remus was just a dummy pretending to be a real man, and was the one who killed his friend
The plot of the movie is also problematic. At first it looks like the whole purpose of the story is to follow a man who is supposed to be a good detective, using a fake name to hide his real identity. However, after several frustrating and inconclusive investigations, the reader eventually learns that he doesn’t really have any skills except for being able to talk. So while the character initially appears to be a genius, the focus on his academic abilities is frequently diverted towards his pursuit of proving he’s a psychic. The whole book becomes one big missed opportunity.
One other minor complaint I have is with the portrayal of the magic system. The entire scene is based around the reader believing that Peter is a true psychic, when in reality he is just a talented illusionist. The entire book could have been made much better if the focus was only on Peter’s real abilities. Instead, we are constantly distracted by this charlatan’s ruses.
Overall, Who’s Peter Croucher is an entertaining movie. The acting is excellent, and the story is exciting. However, it would have been much better had the main characters were given more time to do their job. The story would have been better explored. The ending is what made the film worthwhile. Because of this, I give it four stars out of five.