Pan review: ‘Almost as bad as Hook’

17:23 18 October 2015

Pan. Picture: Laurie Sparham

Pan. Picture: Laurie Sparham

(c) 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This Peter Pan prequel does little to suggest why we should care about his entry into Neverland, says Michael Joyce.

Have you ever wondered how Peter Pan ended up in Neverland? What happened before the events in J.M. Barrie’s story? How Peter became Pan? No, of course you haven’t. Why would you? Well, Pan (that’s a bold, critic goading title) is going to tell you anyway. Because however bored you are of prequels and origins stories, this tale of the early Peter can’t be as bad as Hook, Spielberg’s take on the older, grown up Pan, can it?

It starts promisingly enough with a dyslexic Peter (Miller) in an orphanage during World War II where boys keep disappearing. One night, during the blitz, he is among a group of boys stolen away on a flying pirate ship and taken to Neverland, run by Captain Blackbeard (Jackman.) Here the film takes an abrupt turns into Moulin Rouge as the captain has a taste for singalongs to numbers by Nirvana and The Ramones.

Pan is full of moments that must have looked spectacular on paper but the executions of which are just a little off, not quite doing the ideas justice. The aim is to fuse the corny fun of a pantomime with the breathtaking thrill of a big budget blockbuster but the mix doesn’t take – the naff jokes detract from the spectacle, the spectacle tramples the simple he’s-behind-you fun. This uncertainty about its identity, jumping this way and that to try to alight on something that works, is one aspect in which Pan is just like Hook. Worst of all, the film is yet another messianic narrative, a figure whose arrival and victory is foretold by prophesy. Pan is not a messiah; he’s just an irrepressible little boy.

Rating: 2/5 stars

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Stories

08:00
The outdoor spa pool at Moddershall Oaks

Imogen Blake travelled to a blissful five-star Staffordshire spa retreat, where she discovered that chocolate can actually be good for you...

07:07
Highgate captain Jake Sharland

Highgate captain Jake Sharland wants his side to forget about results and focus on enjoying the game as they attempt to turn their season around.

Yesterday, 15:08
Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West has said she will vote down the 'Brexit bill' when it comes before Parliament

Hornsey and Wood Green’s Labour MP Catherine West has said she will vote against Brexit when the referendum bill comes before Parliament in an attempt to undo what she sees as a catastrophic decision by the nation.

Yesterday, 17:50
Police were called to reports of an armed robbery

Officers discovered two men armed with a suspected firearm and a large bladed weapon in the NatWest bank

Yesterday, 17:00
Anna Calder-Marshall as Gertrude, and Tom Burke as Hamlet in The Live Literature Company production 'Shakespeare's Kings and Queens', devised and directed by Valerie Doulton

Rap and Shakespeare: not the most natural of pairings, perhaps.

Yesterday, 13:13
Prince Arthur Road, Hampstead Village, NW3, £3,750,000, Jonathan Arron, 020 7604 4611

You’d be a fool to buy a property just for summer – especially with all this June rain – but these properties with decking will see you through many an outdoor occasion.

Yesterday, 12:12
There are plenty of alternatives to Champagne and Prosecco

Imagine the scenario: a sudden, massive rise in sea level inundates the low-lying vineyards of the Veneto plain, destroying millions of Prosecco vines. And a wave of mighty hailstorms decimates the vines whose grapes become Champagne.

Yesterday, 11:38
James Ward (right) congratulates Novak Djokovic on his victory at Wimbledon

Camden’s James Ward says he enjoyed “an unbelievable day” on Wimbledon’s Centre Court on Monday, having taken the world No1 and reigning champion Novak Djokovic to a tie-break.

Most read Hampstead & Highgate etcetera

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe