Pan: Film Review

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I was not remotely excited for Pan, because I didn’t think another Peter Pan film was necessary and the film trailer just did not pique my interest in the slightest. So I completely amazed by how good it was. It really is a wonderful, vibrant and fun family film.

Pan is an imagined prequel/origins story to the J.M. Barrie’s classic children’s tale. We meet Peter as his mother Mary (Amanda Seyfried) drops him outside a London orphanage. He is raised there for years until he is kidnapped by pirates and taken to Neverland to work as a slave in a mine for Captain Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman), who wants to find the last remainders of fairy dust to give him eternal youth. Peter learns he can fly and discovers a prophecy suggesting he is the one to lead an uprising against Blackbeard. He teams up with James Hook (Garrett Hedlund) and Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara) to escape Blackbeard’s clutches and save the natives and fairies from his rule.

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For one, this film looks AMAZING. It is full of colour, expansive sets, incredible costumes, hair and make-up. I love Blackbeard and Tiger Lily’s looks, and the Native Village is my favourite place. I want to rewatch those scenes again just to take all the detail in. Those are practical sets, but the film is a bit too over-reliant on CGI for my tastes, especially in regards to stunts, creatures like mermaids, Neverbirds and oversized crocodiles, the flying pirate ships, and the finale battle. But I don’t want to moan about it too much because I think children will love the imagination and invention behind those elements, whereas all I see is obvious CG. I must also add that there are three genius animation sequences in this that are just wonderful.

I can imagine kids having a lot of fun with this. Jackman is a very OTT, panto-style villain and is larger than life in both costume and performance – but you can tell he is loving it. The story is easy to follow, we already know the characters (though perhaps in a different capacity) and there is a lot of action sequences to enjoy – my favourites include the mine escape and Hook’s trampoline battle in at the Native Village.

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Newcomer Levi Miller is a revelation and I expect him to enjoy a damn good acting career after this. He is adorable and his bright-eyed and bushy-tailed enthusiasm shines through. He is a joy to watch and I was so convinced by his British accent, I was surprised to find out he was Aussie! I loved that Mara clearly took a lot of stunt work and Hedlund is fine, but he doesn’t really stand out in this ensemble piece, unlike Adeel Akhtar who plays a hilarious Smee. I must also mention that Cara Delevingne’s appearance as a mermaid has been overhyped – she is honestly in it for about 30 seconds.

I have been totally convinced by Pan, despite the obvious CGI. It is a story I love and has been told many times, yet director Joe Wright has found a way to make it new, fresh and interesting for this generation. I expect a sequel given the ending and I would be onboard with that. I already want to see this again. I really do hope children love it because I think it’s great!

Previews 10-11th, nationwide 16th October 

 

Comments

  1. Pleasantly surprised at your response. The trailers look great, but the film has been pretty heavily panned (pun intened) on Rotten Tomatoes.

  2. Hannah Wales says:

    I know! I was so surprised by the other reviews.

  3. Nice review. I can’t quite figure out why this film has been savaged so mercilessly by American critics, but I suspect a lot of reviewers follow the crowd. Thanks for looking at it with an independent eye.

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