Director: Joe Wright
Writers: Jason Fuchs, J.M. Barrie (characters)
Stars: Levi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund
Hugh Jackman stars as Blackbeard in this classic retelling of Peter Pan with a rather large twist. After seeing a baby being abandoned we move forward twelve years to London during World War Two. Peter (Miller) and his partner in crime live their lives under the strict rule of the head sister at an orphanage. They believe something is not right at the orphanage and sure enough, one night time pirates arrive and steal all the children.
While this is going on London is also being bombed, and the ensuing battle scene as the flying pirate ship escapes is pretty impressively done. The children are taken to Neverland though and once there Peter meets and an old and familiar enemy. With his help they manage to escape from Blackbeard’s clutches and into the hands of a local tribe, who believe that Peter is the subject of a long known prophecy of a boy who can fly, uniting the tribes as one.
All sounds good fun so far right? Well there is a lot to like in Pan but unfortunately there is also a lot to dislike too. The acting for the most part is reasonable and Miller as Peter is pretty well cast. Unfortunately his story gets somewhat lost amongst everything else that is happening. Mara is excellent but ultimately is relegated to an attractive warrior princess role. Jackman (who is most likely the big draw here) over-acts superbly but a poor script lets him and the others down.
I came into this film without knowing too much and have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Pan is an enjoyable fantasy ride with a wonderful score, but some bad CGI (in contrast to some of the wonderful effects also on show), a muddled and convoluted story, along with a poor script really hurt the film. There are also some very pointless things included and some things (Blackbeard’s quest for just one example) which are just nonsensical to say the least.
And this did ultimately show upon its release. As a film in its own right it could have been much much better, but as a family fun film for a Sunday afternoon to keep the young kids amused, then I imagine that it adequately caters to its target audience. The film looks lavish, has plenty of excitement for the little ones but don’t expect anything too special from it.
The Sage’s Rating: