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

Yesterday, 17:09

The solicitor, who features in the film Denial, says there is “reams and reams” of far-right material online, and search engines should take a stand

Yesterday, 17:00

Former child prodigy Ishbel McWhirter whose 90th birthday exhibition opens at Burgh House looks back on her career

Yesterday, 17:58

You’ve agonised over your grapes, studied the markets and purchased your favourites fine wines – so why hide them away in the basement? A new wave of homeowners in Hampstead, Primrose Hill and St John’s Wood clearly agree and are embracing the trend for glass wine cellars.

Yesterday, 16:43

Basement, or ‘lower ground floor’ flats currently cost a third less than properties on higher floors in such central north London areas as St John’s Wood, Little Venice and Marylebone.

Yesterday, 16:00

It was another majestic display from Tottenham against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday as they secured a sixth consecutive Premier League victory – and right at the heart of it was Mousa Dembele.

Yesterday, 15:19

Former children’s laureate and author Michael Rosen has condemned Haringey Council’s plans to move thousands of council houses into a private company as “social and ethnic cleansing”.

Yesterday, 15:04

Campaigners against funding cuts to schools in Haringey have called on parents to turn the tide.

Yesterday, 14:54

Manager Gary McCann admits Hendon have a huge battle on their hands to retain their Ryman League Premier Division status and believes they need to acquire another 24 points to avoid the drop.

Most read Hampstead & Highgate etcetera

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now