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Introspective Movie Review: PAN

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Peter Pan Fairy Tales
Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/peter-pan-fairy-tales-886132/ Pixabay.com by Lalelu2000

The film PAN was panned by pretty much every movie critic, but watching this movie reinforced the notion that I should not pay attention to what others say. Statements such as, "I'll never get those two hours back . . ." and "This joyless, juiceless Pan is a theme-park ride from hell," sent me to the theater with preconceived negative thoughts.

I don't know whether it was low expectations but when the movie was over my first thought was that it wasn't that bad. And, after some reflection, I found the story interesting and the film surprisingly entertaining.

Prequel

1924 Movie Peter Pan
Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Peter_Pan#/media/File:Peter_Pan_1924_movie.jpg — Wikimedia Commons Public Domain Photo

PAN is a 2015 prequel to the original Peter Pan story that we all know and love. The British-American-Australian story reveals how Peter got to Neverland; how he was able to fly; why he never grew up; and how he met Tinker Bell, Tiger Lily, Hook, Smee, the Lost Boys, and others. The movie also introduces the audience to the villain Blackbeard.

 Peter, introduced to the audience as an adorable cherub-faced infant in the first scene, is actually the offspring of a human and a fairy from the tribe of Pan. In the late hours of the night, Peter’s mother reluctantly leaves him on the doorstep of a British orphanage during the war-torn 1940s. The infant is left with an unusual Andean pan flute (zampoña) necklace, which becomes a "key" element in the story. 

Characters

Hugh Jackman, unrecognizable as Blackbeard, resembled Stanley Tucci's character, Caesar Flickerman, from the movie Hunger Games. Jackman's lackluster performance left me underwhelmed. He appeared to be playing an over-made-up theatrical character instead of a fearsome villain.

 Another actor whose performance fell flat was Garrett Hedlund. His portrayal of Hook was dull, and I found his character a bit hokey. He acted more like Indiana Jones than Pan's future antagonist Captain Hook

 The character of Tiger Lily was played by Rooney Mara, most known for her character Lisbeth Salander in the movie The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Tiger Lily was entertaining, but her colorful, ample headpiece was a constant distraction. Some individuals expressed outrage that Tiger Lily was not played by a Native American. However, as I see it, if Steven Spielberg was able to get away with casting Julia Roberts as Disney's Marilyn Monroe inspired Tinker Bell in the movie Hook, then we shouldn’t complain about Mara. She is much more plausible than Roberts.

The young actor who played Peter, Levi Miller, was absolutely adorable. He was energetic and believable as the boy who never grew up. Miller's eyes were expressive, and he was persuasive in his display of the wonderment and the jeopardy of Neverland.  

 Another actor worth mentioning is Adeel Akhtar, who played the part of Sam Smiegel aka "Smee." Akhtar was adept at playing the inept Mr. Smee, and his bumbling shenanigans were nice distractions. Even when Captain Hook's future right-hand man betrayed his eventual boss (along with Tiger Lily and Peter), his blundering personality was atypically heartwarming.

 The part of Tinker Bell was a computer-generated figure that made a brief appearance, and since this is a prequel, Wendy, and her two brothers were not a part of this story.

Captain Hook
Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Peter_Pan#/media/File:Captain_Hook.PNG — Wikimedia Commons Public Domain Photo Captain Hook

Leaving Neverland

Michael Llewelyn
Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Peter_Pan#/media/File:Michael_Llewelyn_Davies_as_Peter_Pan.jpg — Wikimedia Commons Public Domain Photo

The story behind PAN was interesting, but at the end of the movie I felt as though the whole story had not been told — there were missing parts. I was left with several questions, and I wished the writers had given the audience a bit more information. The action scenes saved the movie and gave it an appealing aspect. I don’t know, however, if that appeal will transfer to the small screen when the movie is released on DVD.

All-in-all, PAN was an enjoyable 111 minutes — but, it also didn't hurt that I watched the movie at a Cinépolis theater on a comfy recliner.

 

Introspective Movie Rating

Pan DebW07 2015-10-19 3.0 0 5
3/5

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