review//PAN

Grade: D

PAN
Directed by Joe Wright
Starring Levi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara

Swashbuckling and imagery aside, it's hard to find this much to dislike about a film, even ones that look bad from the trailer alone. With Joe Wright's Pan, the set-up should have equalled brilliance. Instead, the project falls victim to too many ideas and too little vision.

A sort-of origin story, Pan tells the classic story of Peter Pan in a way not before seen. Where Steven Spielberg's Hook ventured into unknown territory, there was still a sense of the legend and legacy of the classic tale. In this adaptation, we are met with more vigor and less appeal than ever seen in regards to everyone's favorite boy who doesn't want to grow up.

Levi Miller is charming as the titular character. His innocence and boyish looks are enough to convince the smallest viewer that there is a real Pan in there somewhere. Unfortunately, he gets too little screen time and has to muck it up with ridiculous characters like Hugh Jackman's Blackbeard, a ruthless titan of a leader who prances around in high heels and prefers fear over respect. Jackman gives it his all, but it isn't enough to bare a remotely interesting character. Instead, you yearn for him to die as soon as possible so you won't have to continue seeing him. The same can be said for Garrett Hedlund's James Hook. We all know where the story is wanting to head, with Hook and Pan being comrades before turning enemies in the proposed sequel (which will likely never get made). Hedlund's voice alone is distracting. Given the added bonus of silly dialogue and you have another character who could use far less screen time.

Director Wright is known for provided visual treats as in Pride and Prejudice or Atonement, which may have led the heavily-produced Pan down the wrong path as it confuses overwhelming visual antics as quality entertainment. Next time, perhaps, they should let Baz Luhrman be Baz Luhrman (you'll get the reference once you've seen it) and allow the much-loved Peter Pan enjoy an original film. There's enough in the story to appeal to audiences young and old without having to add or change anything.

Rating: PG
Runtime: 111 minutes

1 comment:

Jan Bruggeman said...

I haven't seen it, but this was (in my opinion) very much the same thing with the latest Superman movies. The sweetness of the hero and story get lost in all the graphics and green screens. Alas, Hollywood, it is OK to minimize the yahooness of it all. For example, M Night gets FULL wonderment with the vision of ordinary people in very extraordinary situations! THAT gets attention.