released 8 February 2015 | PG | Blu- ray 3D/ Blu- ray/ DVD
Director Joe Wright
Cast Hugh Jackman, Levi Miller,
Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara
If you’re going to go to the effort of making a prequel, you need to be pretty sure the journey is just as exciting as the destination. Unfortunately, this Peter Pan origin tale is so lacking in magic that you wonder why anyone bothered.
It starts well enough, as young orphan Peter ( promising newcomer Levi Alexander) is abducted from his hellish orphanage by skyfaring pirates. But the brilliantly incongruous sight of a flying galleon doing battle with the RAF over a Blitz- torn London is about as good as Pan gets – and almost as soon as Peter arrives in Neverland, all hints of imagination, adventure and fun seem to float away on the breeze.
From there on in it’s just flat, with some very ordinary action sequences, extremely mild peril, and the usual clichés about a “chosen one”. Atonement director Joe Wright clearly knows how to make a movie look beautiful, but Pan has that same disconcertingly hyperreal sheen that made Oz: The Great And Powerful feel like someone had opened a pack of Skittles on- screen.
While Alexander does the job as Peter, his grown- up co- stars fare less well: Garrett Hedlund plays young Captain Hook as if he’s channelling Nicolas Cage into Indiana Jones, while Hugh Jackman overacts for all he’s worth as Blackbeard. If he’s that keen on a panto gig, there must be dozens of British theatres willing to give him a try next Christmas. So if you’ve ever wondered where Peter Pan came from, believe us, you don’t need to know.
Extras The DVD just has “The Boy Who Would Be Pan” ( six minutes) – a talking heads celebration of the film’s young star. On the Blu- ray it’s joined by similarly shallow featurettes on “the legend of Pan”, the backstory of real- life pirate Blackbeard, and the design of Neverland ( 20 minutes), plus a director’s commentary. Richard Edwards
Joe Wright came up with the idea for the trampoline fight sequence cos his son has one “he jumps up and down on endlessly”.
Eurovision got worse every year.