Take a Drink: whenever Pan says “mother”.
Take a Drink: whenever James Hook makes Tiger Lily smile.
Take a Drink: for any Peter Pan reference.
Do a Shot: for any pop song that makes its way into the film Moulin Rouge style.
Do a Shot: when Pan says “Holy Pootie”.
By: Mitch Hansch (Five Beers) –
It’s WW2-stricken England and young Pan (Levi Miller) is toiling away at the orphanage while corrupt nuns hoard the delectable rations. With nothing but a pan flute necklace, Pan knows nothing of his birth mother but dreams of the day he can meet her. The only thing the film’s opening tells us of her (Amanda Seyfried) is that she has those giant Seyfried rainmaker eyes, and she practices the long -held British tradition of parkour. One night a Cirque du Soleil band of pirates drop down from the rooftop and kidnap the young kids, one being Pan, to a flying Pirate ship that gets into a quick dogfight skirmish with some Allied fighter pilots and takes them away to Never Never Land.
Pan is thrown into the Neverland rock pits to mine for Pixum- the street name for pixie dust that the slave-driving pirate Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman) secretly uses to keep him forever young (who wants to do a line off Blackbeard’s pirate sword?!). Down there, Pan meets James Hook (Garrett Hedlund), and we all know that the two are destined to be mortal enemies (isn’t that forced cool? Sigh).
After a quick rebellion Pan is sent to walk the plank off a flying pirate ship, from which it is discovered by him and everyone else that he has the ability to fly. This, in turn, brings notice to Blackbeard of the prophecy that a young boy who can fly will stop the nasty pirate from smelling the teen spirit anymore. Which begs the question; it’s gotta be weird if you’re Blackbeard because you know of a prophecy that directly references you and your demise. Wouldn’t that make you change your ways or at least enjoy who you are to the fullest until such event?
I really don’t have much good to say. As where most of the cast was a let down, Jackman on the other hand is hammy as Blackbeard but in a way that lets him get in a good weird groove, which worked for me. Even though the visual ideas are all over the map, images such as bubble-shaped floating ponds were a nice touch.
(“I’m from Holland, isn’t that weird?”)
Here lies the biggest fault of Pan; once we find out about the prophecy of the ‘boy who could fly’, we’re simply waiting out the last two-thirds of the film going through the motions until the little bugger can finally make lift off.
So why is Neo, sorry, I mean Pan not an exciting character to watch? Mostly because Wright’s direction and mainly Jason Fuchs’ screenplay really fuchs it up. Tonally, the storytelling is everywhere; trying to be at times a dark Christopher Nolan Pan, but throwing in fart jokes and Hedlund’s Dr. McCoy/Indiana Jones makes the film feel like oil and water. Fuchs borrows a little too much with his Neo/Pan, and when we find the tribal territory it comes off as a sloppy love child between the magical forests of Avatar’s Pandora and the wooden huts of Endor. All the winks and nods to Pan’s later highlights are simpleminded at best. Pan and Hook’s friendship isn’t cool and innovating, it simply is, and at that there isn’t a lot of entertainment.
Casting- Hedlund is an attractive chap, but has done nothing to rev my motors. He’s trying really hard here, but his performance comes off as a really strained Karl Urban impersonation. Also, there’s nothing wrong with Adeel Akhtar’s quivering Smiegel, but I couldn’t help but think how much edgier and funnier it would have been if they cast the likes of Jason Mantzoukas (The League). Also, Rooney Mara doesn’t seem to give an flying ‘f’.
(just trust me on this one)
While Jackman’s weirdness did well for his introduction, what didn’t work for me was that when he came out his Blackbeard forced everyone to sing the shanty version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Hey Wright, not cool, have you ever seen Moulin Rouge? Your film is no Moulin Rouge so learn some new tricks!
Also not cool were the lame winks and nods to anything Peter Pan that we’re all familiar with. Wright and Fuchs must have thought when we heard a Lost Boys reference we would just crap our pants in glee. This film is a crap in our pants.
(This film needs a diaper)
A Pan-iverse is attempted here, trying to leave us in bated breath for an imposed trilogy of J.M. Barrie’s classic of “the boy who won’t grow up” but instead leaves us with “the film that won’t entertain” as Joe Wright’s (Hanna, Atonement) prequel doesn’t bode well for more to come. Pan never takes flight.