Release Date: Oct. 9, 2015
Running Time: 111 minutes
Like Steven Spielberg’s Hook, Pan puts a new spin on J.M. Barrie’s classic tale about the boy who can fly, his pirate nemesis, and the Neverland they call home. Director Joe Wright’s beautifully mounted prequel offers a somewhat convincing explanation of how Peter Pan became Peter Pan. He’s a wartime orphan who is stolen away from bomb-ravaged London to work as a slave in a fairy dust mine for Hugh Jackman’s dandy of a Blackbeard. The twist is that Peter becomes allies with James Hook, who is played with somewhat forced roguish charm by Tron Legacy’s Garrett Hedlund. Along with Tiger Lily, who is inexplicably played by Rooney Mara despite traditionally being portrayed as Native American princess, Peter and Hook unite to stop Blackbeard from wiping out every fairy in existence. Newcomer Levi Miller makes for a gutsy Peter. But as reconceived by Ice Age: Continental Drift’s screenwriter Jason Fuch, this Peter is less of a mischievous troublemaker than a natural born leader. It’s hard to imagine Miller’s Peter evolving into the boy who never grows up and becomes the object of Hook’s ire, as foreshadowed at the end of Pan during a groan-inducing exchange between the future adversaries. Pan obviously is intended to launch a new franchise, one that likely would work its way toward a retelling of the Barrie’s oft-told children’s classic. But as elegantly and excitingly executed as Pan is, Wright never quite succeeds in making an argument that this origin story is an essential addition to the mythology of Peter Pan.
Aired: Oct. 8, 2015
Web site: http://www.panmovie.com/