While visually spectacular and fantastical, Pan didn’t wow me the way I was hoping. Considering Hugh Jackman plays Wolverine in XMen and Jean Valjean in Les Miserable with such aplomb, I was expecting a seriously nasty villain when he portrayed Captain Blackbeard in this movie, but unfortunately he is only just okay. Of course he is dressed the part and does mean things, but he is no sneering baddy like Dustin Hoffman in 1999’s Hook.
The film tells the story of 12-year-old Peter Pan, kidnapped by Blackbeard’s pirates from an orphanage during World War II and brought to NeverNever Land to work with other boys mining fairy dust. Blackbeard uses the dust or ‘pixom’ to retain his youth and yet contradictorily hunts and makes fairies extinct. The fact that he relies on them for his youth makes no sense at all that he would want to kill them off! Also, the idea to use a modern Nirvana song as a workers’ chant seems to be stolen from the much better Mad Max: Fury Road.
Anyway, Peter turns out to be part of a prophecy that says he will lead the fairies and the natives in a war against Blackbeard. Along with his new friends Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara) and James Hook (Garrett Hedlund) – yes Peter and Hook are friends in this movie.
The main downfall for me was that aside from the amazing majesty of the visuals like swooping ships and flying alligators, the dialogue was full of cheesy quips and tiresome one-liners. However, that kind of thing might be enjoyable for others! In particular Hook (Garrett Hedlund) seems to be trying to play his character like Indiana Jones. This is obviously only the first in a series of a new Pan franchise and hopefully they sort out the script for the next one.