Hello, fellow moviegoers!
In the film industry today it seems like studios want live-action fairy tales to be the next big thing. Disney is definitely ahead of the curve having already released Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, and Cinderella. But those are soon to be little fish in a big sea as Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, The Little Mermaid, two separate Jungle Book movies, Pinocchio, Dumbo, a sequel to 2013’s Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and Alice Through the Looking Glass are also on their way to the big screen.
Now Warner Bros. is trying to jump on board with this new origin story of Peter Pan, simply entitled Pan. Pan stars Levi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Garret Hedlund, and Rooney Mara, and it is directed by Joe Wright. So with all of the new live-action fairy tales coming out, is this one you should check out? Here’s what I thought.
Pan is definitely a unique Peter Pan story. One that includes over-the-top nuns, Nirvana-singing pirates (yes, I’m serious) and a plot that can get too convoluted for its own good.
One of the things that this movie suffers from the most is overacting. Some of the actors in this film, specifically Garret Hedlund as Hook, are trying way too hard to make their characters shine that they end up just being annoying and even cringe-worthy at times. That isn’t to say that all of the acting was bad. Hugh Jackman, in particular, was awesome as the villainous Black Beard, and young Levi Miller was also good as Peter Pan. Miller wasn’t ridiculously amazing or anything, but he didn’t need to be.
Like I stated above, this movie’s plot gets very complicated at times. Which can be a good thing for some movies, but not for this one. It should be a very easy plot to follow because half of the audience going to see this movie is going to be under the age of 12. When you need to start throwing inconsistencies, and plot points that are a little too convenient into the plot of a kids movie, you’ve done something wrong.
It’s with the visual effects and costuming that this movie really stands out. Leaving the theater, how the film looked was the one thing that remained great across the board, in my opinion. Although, there are points where the film unexpectedly jumps into IMAX format (with the black bars on the top and bottom) for about 5-6 seconds, then it returns to normal. If it happened once for a great shot in 3D, that could be forgiven, unfortunately, it happened three or four times! At that point, you might as well shoot the whole thing in IMAX, so that it doesn’t distract the audience when it changes.
By now you’re probably wondering about the whole “Nirvana-singing pirates thing”. Before I go into this, be warned that it does have minor spoilers, nothing that will ruin the movie, but for those of you that don’t like any sort of spoiler what-so-ever, heads up.
They’ve just arrived in Neverland, and they walk into this cavern that is crawling with pirates and miners. Then out of nowhere really, they start singing “Smells like Teen Spirit”! The argument could be made that since this is all a dream it was Peter’s imagination doing it, but the movie takes place during World War II! So unless Nirvana transcends all time, that doesn’t make sense. What I want to know is whose idea that was in the first place. It made zero sense and was distracting from the movie. The worst part was it happened twice! At another point, they were very obviously singing “Hey Ho, Let’s Go” by The Ramones! I’m a fan of good music like anyone else, but how in the world was that a good idea?
My biggest complaint, however, is that not once in this movie did it ever feel like Peter Pan. It felt like a kid’s adventure movie, but never anything more than that. Which was very disappointing, because Peter Pan can be such a fun character if done correctly. They turned Hook into a good guy, so much so, that it would be completely out of character for him to become a villain. So, they backed themselves into a corner with any possible sequels.
So overall, Pan isn’t necessarily a bad movie. That doesn’t mean that it was good either though. I think that younger kids will enjoy this movie quite a bit (I know I would’ve ten years ago). Parents may get a slight kick out of it, simply because of how ridiculous it is. I can’t recommend you see it in theaters, however. Maybe rent it on DVD, or just watch it on TV in a year.
Did you see Pan this weekend? Were you just as confused with the pirates singing Nirvana? Would you like to see a sequel to this movie? Let me know by commenting on this post!
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