A young orphan is captured by pirates and taken away to the magical
world of Neverland, where he's the chosen one of a fairy prophecy.
Directed by Joe Wright
Written by Jason Fuchs
Starring Levi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Adeel Akhtar, Nonso Anozie, Amanda Seyfried, Kathy Burke,
Based on characters created by J.M. Barrie
Remarkably, I'm still waiting for somebody to do an adaptation of Peter Pan that is both entertaining and memorable. You'd think after all these years it would've happened by now, but the closest we got was the Disney version with the racist Indians. 2015's Pan has a similar issue, only this time it's white actress Rooney Mara playing a native named Tiger Lily. Some ideas should never go past the planning stage, let alone happen. But I digress. This film is the Goodwill patchwork quilt of fantasy movies, with various tropes and cliches woven together with a great deal of misguided whimsy to craft a film that made about as much of a splash as a pebble in the Atlantic, both critically and financially.
Let me get something off my chest straightaway. Why in the name of Kurt Cobain are the pirates singing "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana when Blackbeard is introduced? Considering that Peter is taken to Neverland during World War II, grunge rock should never have been introduced to these people. It gets even worse when they start murdering "Blitzkrieg Bop" later on. I don't know whose idea it was to try to mesh heavy rock songs with family/fantasy whimsy, but I hope they reconsidered a career in entertainment because they don't belong in Hollywood. The studio managed to get a bad performance out of everybody except the kid who plays Peter, young Levi Miller. Considering he's the one thing standing out in this minefield of disappointment, I'd say the kid is going places.
My biggest gripe with the film is that they never bothered to show the one thing I was looking forward to the most: The origin of Captain Hook. Garrett Hedlund was arguably the worst thing about the film. His performance was uncomfortably wooden and his chemistry sucked with everybody. But, he was still Captain Hook and I wanted to see how he would evolve from friend of Peter to murdering pirate. Alas, the role of lead villain is hammed up by Hugh Jackman, an actor I often look forward to watching. I don't know why he's playing actual pirate Blackbeard or why he looks like he wandered off the set of Moulin Rouge, but the smart thing to do would've been to have his character become Hook and save us all a lot of trouble. I think you can guess at this point that I was not a fan of Pan. It's not a complicated story to adapt, but everybody keeps trying to put their own ridiculous spin on it and make it their own, even though audiences have made it pretty damn clear we just want to see the actual story.