Starring: Levi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Adeel Akhtar, Nonso Anozie, Amanda Seyfried, Kathy Burke
Directed By: Joe Wright
Written By: Jason Fuchs
Rating: PG (US) Running Time: 1 hr 39 min
Here it is, the ‘origin’ story! Where did Pan come from? How did he get his amazing fairy mind control powers? The world, currently saturated with mythical tales about costumed superheroes, wants to know! Or do we?
Story-wise, Pan is pretty solid, if somewhat familiar. It’s got an old prophecy predicting the return of ‘The One’, and a villain obsessed with eternal youth. It’s got dashing rogues, pirates, fairies, royalty and pretty warriors. All set in a world not lacking in creative style and imagination.
Unfortunately, what it doesn’t have is a clear idea of what it wants to be. As it frequently jumps between a darker Harry Potter vibe, and something that’s a weird blend between Disney’s animated Peter Pan, and Spielberg’s Hook. Delivering plenty of color, energy and swashbuckling action, in an incredibly undisciplined way.
Pan is a collection of neat yet unorganized ideas (plus some obvious continuity errors) and great visuals, but not a whole lot of narrative logic. Levi Miller’s titular performance is decent, but often overplayed. Which I think was either due to Jason Fuchs awkward screenplay, and/or Joe Wright’s direction. Like the young actor was given an exaggerated idea of what he was supposed to be reacting to.
Rooney Mara is convincing enough as the warrior Tiger Lily, and Hugh Jackman plays the villainous Blackbeard well. The absolute worst performance in this film however, comes from Garrett Hedlund as the future Captain Hook. The overblown cartoonish delivery of his lines seemed out of step with the rest of the film, and often killed any scene in which he was a major component.
This isn’t as much fun as Disney’s animated feature, or as interesting as Spielberg’s Hook. It does occasionally deliver the kind of magic you’re looking for in a movie like this, but for the most part its cons outnumber its pros. Pan is rated PG for mild fantasy action violence.
Despite its many faults, this movie looks good, and will work best on a theater sized screen.
One of the few moments of genuine magic arrives when Peter is abducted by Blackbeard’s pirates. The journey to Neverland that follows is part action, wonder and unbound imagination.