‘Pan’ movie review
By Lauren Paulsen, Senior Columnist
There have been dozens of adaptations of the story of Peter Pan throughout the years, some good, some… not so good. After watching Joe Wright’s Pan, I feel the latest offering falls somewhere in the middle.
Pan is supposed to show Peter’s story of how he came to Neverland and became Peter Pan. At 12-years-old, he is kidnapped from an orphanage and brought to Neverland by pirates to mine fairy dust for Blackbeard. It is here that he learns that it is his destiny to become a hero.
Children will enjoy this movie, which is good since they are the target audience, but I was disappointed to find it lacking for an older audience. It’s not the acting. There are some pretty big names in this movie: Levi Miller plays an adorable and endearing Peter, Hugh Jackman is pretty much unrecognizable as a devious and very flamboyant Blackbeard, and Garrett Hedlund shows us a likeable side to Captain Hook that we haven’t really seen before. No, what bothered me most were the large plot holes, the often cheap-looking special effects, and a few minor points that really made no sense at all.
I’ll start with the plot holes. Firstly, Blackbeard wants to kill all of the fairies so that he can mine their dust and live forever. This makes absolutely no sense to me, because eventually the crystallized fairy dust will disappear, and he won’t be able to get anymore because all of the fairies will be gone. The second plot hole is that, for some reason, while Blackbeard is trying to kill the fairies, they do not fight back. It isn’t until Peter believes in himself and flies that they rally beside him and attack the pirates, and then, strangely, it is the pirates who can no longer fight back. The last plot hole that I am going to pick at is the whole never-aging-in-Neverland thing. Blackbeard is this really old, decrepit guy without the fairy dust, and if no one ages, where do all of the adults come from? They just kidnap them like they do the children? But then, what about Tiger Lily? She’s an adult in this movie, yet she was born in Neverland. Did no one think this through?
I did like some of the amazing scenery shot in Pan. It was absolutely fantastic. Unfortunately, a lot of the special effects took away from that feeling. There were so many action scenes where it was obvious people were being held up by ropes to pull off the “amazing stunts” while they fought. I know that in the present day we can do a lot better. It honestly felt like we’d regressed here.
Adding to the non-highlights, at one point, Peter, Hook, and Smee are all in a gondola and it falls down with them in it, yet somehow the three guys fall and land several seconds before the gondola does. That’s just one example. I might be nitpicking here, but it really detracted from the movie when my brain couldn’t figure out the logic of these things. I think the biggest thing to bother me in this section was that Peter was afraid of heights. Sure, all well and good, and it even makes an interesting plot point, but he never really acted like someone who was afraid of heights. I don’t think I would have even realized it if he had not said it out loud. I know people who are afraid of heights. That is not how they act.
All in all, I think it’s a great movie for kids and it is entertaining to watch, but I wouldn’t bother going to the theatres to see it. Wait for it to come out on DVD or Netflix, and save some money.