Levi Miller is Peter Pan in the story of the character’s origin.

Reel Reviews: Pan remains forever young

Taylor and Howe say, “Pan is not as bad as everyone says it is.”

  • Oct. 16, 2015 2:00 p.m.

Young Peter (Levi Miller) has lived his entire life in a British boy’s orphanage run by nuns.

Curious and precocious Peter begins investigating his belief that the nuns are secretly selling the boys at night and keeping the profits for themselves. Soon he discovers that his belief is false when he, along with many other boys are kidnapped by pirates in a flying sail boat.

Whisked off to Neverland by the jolly, yet cruel Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman), Peter is put to work with the other Lost Boys, mining pixie dust. It doesn’t take long before Peter gets into trouble and is thrown in the pit.

However, when everyone, including Peter, is surprised to find out he can fly, a prophecy may be fulfilled, whereby a flying boy leads a rebellion against Blackbeard, restoring order to the fairy kingdom.

We say, “Pan is not as bad as everyone says it is.”

TAYLOR: Pan is technically sloppy in its computer graphic imagery, meaning it’s really easy to tell when people aren’t actually running, or standing looking at something or flying through the air. In a film where 90 per cent of its background scenery isn’t real, this becomes detrimental.

Some of the acting in the film comes across as exaggerated, like a theatre production. This complaint isn’t as important in a kids’ film and is acceptable some of the time. When Jackman is swinging his sword, wide-eyed and screaming, it works.

When James Hook (Garett Hedlund) (a good guy in his early years) is doing an impersonation of Jimmy Stewart imitating Jon Wayne, it gets a bit weird.

HOWE: I would even go as far as saying Hedlund’s character is based on some of Harrison Ford’s earlier roles. It felt like a pantomime at some points.

The delivery of his lines were either terrible or great, depending on if he was trying to say them in that style. All that was missing was the one liner, “He’s behind you.”

The strongest actor in Pan was probably young Peter himself, played by Miller. He gave a good all-around performance and losing his Australian accent for the role was very impressive.

TAYLOR: Having docked all my points in the first paragraph, I’m happy to report that this is still a fun and entertaining movie, particularly if you’re familiar with the Peter Pan story. I could see eight and nine year olds eating this up.

Most people aren’t going to notice the bad effects; most kids aren’t going to be bothered by weird accents and overacting. I was, but I’m picky. I did like the new back story they created for Peter and the others, while still touching on elements of the original Pan.

HOWE: Agreed. The younger audience will eat this up, yet I can’t say I wasn’t entertained. The story itself is different than the original and it leaves a little unexplained, concerning Pan and Hook. If it does well, you can expect to see a part two: What happened to Captain Hook?

TAYLOR: It’s bombing, so probably not…

– Taylor gives Pan 2.5 dodgy accents out of 5.

– Howe gives it 2.5 Spitfires out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe review the latest films for The Morning Star Friday and Sunday.

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