Pan

Hook Line and Stinker

I’m getting to that point in my life where I’m having to take care of my eyebrows at an alarming rate. They are growing faster than a toddler, longer than my arm and curlier than a quaver. My knees are also starting to hurt when doing challenging stuff such as ‘standing up’ or ‘gentle walking’ so it’s probably about time I stop going to see kids films.

Thankfully I have a girlfriend so I only look like a partial weirdo rather than a full on weirdo when I go to the cinema but some point soon I’m going to have to steal a kid as well.

I think Hook might have been the first film I saw at the cinema – it was certainly the first one I properly remember going to see. I also got a Game Gear as a kid with Hook the game which I absolutely loved, I still have it somewhere. So it’s obvious that my main interest in Pan was my nostalgia for Hook.

Unlike the 1991 film I certainly won’t have any fond memories of this version of Hook (Garrett Hedlund) 15 years down the line. Garrett Hedlund tries really hard to play a wild swashbuckler and that’s exactly how it comes across on screen; forced. If you think back to the Dustin Hoffman’s Hook his character was much more self assured and demure; his wig was the most forced thing about him.

It’s the same with Peter Pan (Levi Miller) who only seems to know how to do intensely concerned with a shaving of scared on top. It’s a bit like when you are not quite sure if that fart came with added extras!

The only 2 characters to really stand out is Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard and Adeel Akhtar as Smee. This is mainly because they encapsulate that light-hearted fun that made the original Hook enjoyable where Hook and Pan don’t.

It’s a shame because there are a lot of really cool visuals in the film. There are floating balls of ocean complete with fish. There are mermaids who all strangely have the face of Cara Delavingne which is, well, whatever. There are guns that make people explode! Explode into wondrous puffs of smoke that are all colours of the skittles rainbow. It’s like Warner Bros. licensed out Salvador Dali’s imagination.

The best bit, in my book, is the flying pirate ships. Who doesn’t love big old wooden pirate ships? Exactly. Now who doesn’t love it when they fly? EXACTLY!

I wish the forest where the lost boys lived held the same joyful imagination. There is one main area with a trampoline and that’s about it, the original had Rufio ‘shredding’ along a track through the camp. This film is meant to be bigger and better yet the lost boys playground doesn’t look that fun.

There is one other thing that I just have, have, have to mention that doesn’t really fit into the rest of what I’ve written and that is the teen spirit. I’m not talking about some sort of hormonal mood swings I’m talking about the first time we meet Blackbeard and the whole of his mining community is singing Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. Who thought this was a good idea? Were they stuck for ideas and ask the guy standing outside the chip shop to name any random song? Why hasn’t the person who approved this been drowned in custard?

Outside of the visuals there isn’t a whole lot to keep your attention but perhaps if your are 6 – like I was when I saw Hook – the visuals alone will be an enough to make this worth the watch. Pan never dug it’s hooks into me and I even found it boring in parts. Maybe I’m pining for a bit of nostalgia or perhaps I’ve just grown up and lost my boyishness.

Go See

  • Cool ship planes
  • Imagination a plenty
  • If you have kids

Avoid

  • If you are an adult
  • Forced acting
  • Song choice

Overall

2-stars

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