The story of Peter Pan is well known with one of the few films to step outside of the usual direction being that of Steven Spielberg’s 1991 film Hook. When the trailers for director Joe Wrights take on the Neverland world Pan hit theaters it was rather lackluster and offered up a prequel journey into an unknown part of the story, but with a cast including Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, and Levi Miller could it actually offer up something that makes you want to return to Neverland or will the film be just another lost boy?
Pan follows 12-year-old orphan Peter who is spirited away to the magical world of Neverland, where he finds both fun and danger, and ultimately discovers his destiny to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan. This is one of those films that just didn’t look like it had much to offer from all of the promotion which is sad because on some level it actually does. The film is far from perfect, but does manage to be a pretty fun adventure flick with an interesting take on the familiar world. The first half of the film sets a dark tone with Jackman clearly being a darker character than you might expect from his over the top look and intro in the trailers. This is a film meant for a younger audience, but there are plenty of elements here that are not quite in that same age range, but never so far as to need to warned about. Jackman looks to be having a lot of fun with the Blackbeard character which helps to elevate the often slow pace of the second half of the film. The rest of the cast do a fine job with Garrett Hedlund’s Hook obviously different than what we know of the character, but for some reason made to be more of a generic adventurer taking away from his fun performance. After the interesting direction the first half sets up with some great moments, the film turns into a pretty generic adventure film that entertains but doesn’t offer up anything original that you haven’t already seen a thousand times. The visuals to this world are great and there is a gem here, but sadly it is lost in a lack of real originality or depth.
In the end this film works for the younger audiences way more than it would for the adults just for the mindless adventure fun of it all, but that is pretty much all it has to offer. If you are a fan of the Peter Pan mythology or just looking for something the kids will likely enjoy then give this film a shot. It was clearly hoping to set up some sort of franchise and could have been interesting to see where it would have gone, but after the box office failure it is highly unlikely. In addition to the film this release includes numerous special features including commentary, and numerous featurettes taking you deeper inside Neverland.
See a new side to Neverland and grab your copy of Pan on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD available now from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment.