PAN

Peters out

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

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.

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