Out Now On-Demand
Every legend has a beginning.
Director Joe Wright (Hanna, Atonement) tells the origin story of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, the orphan boy taken away to the magical world of Neverland. Stars Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, Amanda Seyfried as Mary, Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily and Garrett Hedlund as Hook.
Adventure, Kids & Family, Fantasy
Rating: PG Violence & scary scenes
“Aw, who guffed?!” exclaims a young Peter (sans the Pan) early in this prequel, an example of the endearing English-ness of its first act - although accents are laid on so thick, I wondered if younger viewers may need subtitles at times. Opening in a Blitz-era orphanage, the latest effort from director Joe Wright (Atonement, Hanna) revels in some old fashioned cheeky boys versus nasty nuns business as it opens, played largely for laughs, and with the friendship of two youngsters holding centre stage.
Before too long, fantastical pirate elements creep in, and the film’s journey to – and through – a previously-unseen Neverland begins. A series of interesting artistic choices unfold, some hitting the mark while others go wide, sometimes distractingly so.
An animated “memory tree” amazes, colourful costumes worn by a multi-racial, multi-accented cast dazzle, and gunfire turns victims into clouds of brightly-coloured smoke. All these end up on the positive side of the ledger – along with Peter boldly gesticulating with “the fingers” at an unhappy recipient in a crowd-pleasing moment. As Peter, newcomer Levi Miller impresses, as does an unsurprisingly over-the-top turn from Hugh Jackman as villainous pirate Blackbeard.
But then there are the diegetic renditions of Smells Like Teen Spirit and Blitzkrieg Bop, performed as pirate singalongs by young workers in enormous mines visually lifted from Mad Max: Fury Road by way of Temple of Doom. Clever references to future events rub shoulders with the none-too-subtle, and a cowboy-like Hook looks to have more in common with a second-rate Han Solo than the evil figure he’s to eventually become.
By taking chances, though – including some wonderfully classical elements among the modern special effects sheen – even Pan’s failures help to distinguish it from typical Hollywood kids cash-in fare.
Total Film (UK)
Time Out London
Herald Sun (Australia)
Sydney Morning Herald
Most entertaining movie I've seen in ages
Honestly, I really enjoyed taking little Miss Eight to see this. Think John Carter meets The Golden Compass meets Pirates of the Caribbean. But with a Moulin Rouge style of soundtrack "Wait...is that Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit? Holy Toledo Batman it is!". Looking forward to seeing this one again and will definitely be adding it to my home movie collection.
An okay movie for the kids, adults may have a harder time stomaching it. Terrible CGI, poor storyline and average performances.Nothing remarkable about it whatsoever.