Title – Pan (2015)
Director – Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice)
Cast – Levi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Amanda Seyfried
Plot – A fresh look back at the story of Peter Pan (Miller) and how he ended up in Neverland, fighting the evil Blackbeard (Jackman) and teaming up with James Hook (Hedlund) and Tiger Lilly (Mara) to stop his dastardly anti-fairy plans.
“Sometimes to truly understand how things end, we must first know how they begin”
Review by Eddie on 12/05/2016
If there was a more awkward movie than Pan released in the last few years I’d certainly like to know about it as Joe Wright’s big budgeted wannabe franchise starter is a lavishly coloured and extravagant picture that lacks knowledge of what it actually wants to be or who in fact it’s aimed at and judging by the films flopping at the box office the world over, it seems as though audiences too struggled to figure out who should be watching this revamping of J.M Barrie’s classic material or why they should be watching it.
Tonally all over the place and with a story that seems to meander about the motions until a highly lacking finale and lack of answers regarding certain story questions (a glaring one being how Hook and Pan in fact become enemies as they are adventures together here), for the first time in his quietly impressive directing career Wright seems completely lost within his narrative and fails to liven up proceedings despite throwing every known colour onto the screen, plopping in Nirvana songs and letting many of his actors ham it up to level 11 to try and cover up the fact Pan’s story is actually rather dull in a world that should be anything but.
Our Pan here is played by newcomer Levi Miller and the poor young performer labours in his first major turn injecting Peter with neither the charm, smarts nor emotion that was needed for the role. When you consider however how his cast alongside a horribly miscast double act of Garrett Hedlund (who continues to frustrate as a lead actor) and the beyond bad Rooney Mara, the child performer didn’t really stand much of a chance. The films only saving grace acting wise is Hugh Jackman who has a blast playing Blackbeard the fearsome pirate who will stop at nothing to collect that sought after pixie dust but while he has fun it still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense having Blackbeard in this beloved tale.
Whilst normally it would not be something called out for by the masses it would’ve actually been nice for Pan to stick more closely to the original Peter Pan story that has enchanted readers and viewers for decades upon decades and while its commendable for a big budget film to take such a risk on a new take on a well-trod property, Pan is a stinging reminder of what can go wrong when money is thrown all over the place and scripts seem doctored to tick off as many set piece wish lists as possible and for the first time in his career Joe Wright has crafted an almost irredeemably bad piece of cinematic entertainment.
All those seeking a Peter Pan fix are much better off seeking out a copy of Disney’s beloved animated take or even the similarly styled Steven Spielberg event Hook.
1 ½ awkwardly used Nirvana song out of 5