Release Date: October 9, 2015
Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Jason Fuchs, J.M. Barrie (characters)
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Levi Miller, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Adeel Akhtar, Nonso Anozie, Amanda Seyfried, Kathy Burke, Lewis MacDougall, Cara Delevingne, Tae-joo Na, Jack Charles, Bronson Webb, Mike Shepherd, Brian Bovell, Kurt Egyiawan, Jimmy Vee, Paul Hunter, Spencer Wilding, Dean Nolan, Giacomo Mancini
MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime: 111 minutes
Production Company: Berlanti Productions, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, Warner Bros.
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Country: USA, UK, Australia
Adapting a classic story that’s loved by millions has its many ups and downs. The stakes are high—it could either be a success or it could also crash into a total disaster. Most likely emotions are neutral, with the general public not caring too much. I was neutral myself, curious and slightly optimistic. Considering director Joe Wright’s previous filmography, there isn’t anything spectacular that stands out. That doesn’t mean a steaming, hot fresh piece of a film cannot be conjured up, but undoubtedly it wasn’t so this time. I loved Steven Spielberg’s Hook—a movie about the fictional events taking place after the original classic tale ends. Being a fan of Peter Pan, I was eager for Wright’s take on Neverland. My interest grew even more, when I learned that the story’s focus was on the events preceding the legend. Despite having low expectations, I was still let down and was left daydreaming in my seat. Not only was the movie a bore, but it was also an experience in losing time forever.
This is Levi Miller’s first time on the big screen, and even if it were his last I wouldn’t be surprised. I can’t say he’s a bad actor, but he did nothing to call him great. Although, Peter Pan’s personality for me is a distant memory, Miller’s performance hasn’t reminded me of Pan in any way. I understand Peter’s in Neverland, but he needs to calm down. His over acting was a pain to watch, and was as random as it can get. At times Miller’s normal, delivering his lines as he should and at other times he’s supped up on sporadic happiness. It’s scary and completely out of place. He isn’t the only one guilty of over acting. Everyone is either screaming, rugged or posing silly. I mean, my goodness! I don’t know what personification of Hook (Garrett Hedland) this was supposed to be, but Hedland purposely trying to sound like a pirate was a mistake. He spoke as if he was trying to stretch his jaws with every syllable. I’ll pass. Tiger Lily (Ronney Mara) was OK, save for her random wish for epic posing, and Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman) was hysterical. He was the film’s drunkard/drug addict, or at least that’s how his character appeared to be. He either looked extremely exhausted, sad, or seemed to be on some mystical dope the lost boys boiled up. The crazy thing is that the performances weren’t that bad (other than Miller’s); they just didn’t fit together is all. I love ketchup, pancakes, and baked fish, but never in a billion years would I want them together.
Seriously, don’t even ask me about the story because I honestly don’t remember. Although, I do recall how bland and repetitive it was of the stories I’ve seen before. Instead of creating something new, it relied on old Easter eggs from the original Pan movie we know: there are no stakes, there’s a bad dictatorship and a prophecy speaks of the chosen one to save the day. We’ve been there, and done that countless times. It really stinks to see that Neverland is a metaphor for a perfect dream and imagination, but this incarnation is as bright as the picture on the back of a box of cereal.
With the movie being made in 2015, and every other film being able to pull it off, you’d think we’d get mind blowing visual effects. Instead, construction paper comes to mind, when I think about the graphical layout. Nothing looked real with all the visuals bleeding horribly. This was the worst part of the film. The flying pirate ships were too over the top, especially against the modern town setting. Nothing meshed in the least bit. Every frame of color looked like circles being forced into square holes. Usually if a film is trash, it at least looks decent (Transformers franchise), but this one unfortunately doesn’t get that pass.
Pan is a catastrophic failure in nearly every aspect possible. There’s nothing good to say about it other than the recognizable names from the real Peter Pan story. I tried numerous times to stay focused on the on goings on screen. I had a good seat and a respectable audience, but a genie in a bottle couldn’t have fixed this mess with one thousand wishes. Clearly, Joe Wright wasn’t the best choice for a director—hence, the movie was a wasted opportunity. There’s still hope that in future that we’ll get a better adaptation of Peter Pan, but this attempt needs to be shot to death and buried deep in the ground.