All original written content is (c) 2015 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed is a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.
NEWBIES: If this is your first trip here (welcome!), here’s the QT on what these reviews are.
THIS WEEK: The big-budget, live-action version of the children’s story, stage play and Disney cartoon, with Levi Miller in his first big-screen role, plus Hugh “Wolverine” Jackman as Captain Blackbeard, Garret “Tron” Hedlund as James (future Captain) Hook and Rooney “Dragon Tattoo Girl” Mara as Tiger Lily. A poor orphan boy with a pan flute gets kidnapped aboard a flying ship and while searching for his Mum, fulfills a fairy prophecy. No, really.
Written by Jason Fuchs with original characters/concepts by J.M. Barrie. Directed by Joe Wright.
- As always, some very cool effects and (especially) sets. The design and construction of the flying ships and Neverland, and even the recreation of WWII London, are well done. Same with the costumes; the pirates, their captives and the natives. (Tiger Lily’s headdress is awesomely cool. Impractical and cumbersome, but cool, in a Queen Amidala way.) Their take on the fairies are pretty nice too.
- Most of the flight and fight scenes were well choreographed with some imaginative bursts. What’s not to like about pirate ships battling in the sky? And people fighting between them surrounded by millions of lighted fairies?
- Good acting performances all around. Some of the emotional parts were good. Miller is a natural, and even with the Brit accent isn’t annoying. Really liked seeing Nonso Alozie (Game Of Thrones and Dracula TV shows, Cinderella); that dude can be badass and funny at the same time.
- Tinkerbell makes an appearance, though she doesn’t speak and you can’t see her face.
- Most annoying thing about the trailers for me was Hugh Jackman’s hair: looked like a rigid fright wig with painted edges. Well, it’s fully and satisfactorily explained (for a change)!
- I thought Hook’s character was the most interesting/complex. How he went from Peter Pan’s pal to pain-in-the-panhandle would be interesting, but it’s for the “sequel” (that will probably not happen due to bad box office results).
- Pixie dust is kind of like Dilithium Crystals in Star Trek!
- If you need a villain to hate, the head nun at the orphanage does the trick. Cartoonishly evil, like Cruella De Vil come to life.
- No Wendy or Darling brothers. Just a best mate named Nibs, whom Peter pronounced as “Neebs.”
- There was major conflict, worry and concern whether or not Peter could fly…AFTER HE ALREADY FLEW! Made no sense to me.
- Why do people who think they can fly have to jump from a dangerous height to do so? Birds don’t. Insects don’t. Neither do planes, helicopters or jetpacks. Or even superheroes. Just jump up and fly, ya moron!
- Suspension Of Disbelief Department: I can believe a flying pirate ship, but one that goes into the stratosphere into zero gravity and no one on board even gets cold? And can still breathe? That’s tough. And what was with Peter pushing away Saturn? Drug trip? Dream sequence?
- Complete Annihilation Of Disbelief Department: Okay, either the pirate ships or Neverland are equipped with time travel. How else are pirates and slaves during the 1940s able to sing songs from the Ramones and Nirvana written in the 1970s and 1990s, respectively? Took me completely outta the film.
- Some have criticized this for having too many “borrowed” elements from other action/fantasy films. (Though you could easily make that argument about every action/fantasy film this century.)
- Common Sense Question1: If some guy tried to enslave and kill you and then said he killed your loved one, and you found yourself standing behind him while he stood on a ledge ranting, wouldn’t you just push him off and be rid of him? I sure as hell would!
- Common Sense Question 2: If you wore a little pan flute around your neck for the first 12 years of your life, wouldn’t you at some point be curious to blow on the dang thing? I sure as hell would!
- Speaking of pan flutes, the kid’s name finally makes sense. I always thought he worked for Little Caesar’s or the Food Network.
I had snake-level expectations that were met with knee-level entertainment, so I wasn’t bummed. The book’s been around for over a century so it needed “freshening up” but I think the Disney ‘toon is still the one to beat (or the play if yer into theater. I ain’t.) This didn’t have the “I can fly!!” sense of pure joy I see in the animated and other versions, and while the mother-son message is warm and fuzzy, the rest is pretty superficial. But visually, worth seeing for the popcorn value.
P.S.: Want some fantasy art of your own? For you or a pal? Pascale can draw pretty much anything tasteful, and some untasteful. Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, Neverland, Hugh Jackman, Hugh Hefner, Hugh Jass, or anyone who plays a pan flute. (Bru-Hed plays the skin flute. Way too much.)