Having loved J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, I was hopeful when I shared the Pan trailer last May, that the imagined origin story was going to deliver a magic world full of brave new possibilities to charm and inspire children. Or the kids we used to be.
Alas, the ‘pan’ puns are all over the place. Pan is a major dud, already pronounced an epic failure as it cost 150 million dollars to make and has generated roughly 15 million dollars at the box office. Because of social media, the bad news spreads in an instant so the old model, where a movie could get in a couple of weeks maybe of decent numbers, is dead and gone. In the very, very old days, when I was growing up, we went to see any movie made for kids when it came out in theaters. That’s what we did. What else was there? Old movies on TV? These days the kids have so many choices they don’t know what to do.
You’ve got to have something really special to grab their attention. Pan, according to the critics, doesn’t have that at all. Jackman they say, munches the scenery. Garrett Hedlund as Hook is a bore. Rooney Mara shouldn’t play Tiger Lily and who asked for a Peter Pan prequel anyway?! Media types who follow this stuff say that it may not do well even in China—where great big visually noisy films go to make the really big bucks—as nobody in China knows or cares who Peter Pan is. I didn’t say that, The Wrap did.
Here’s a handful of reviews which are quite possibly more entertaining than the actual movie.
“5 Reasons Pan got the Hook at the box office” The Wrap
“It takes a movie such as Pan to make you realize that OZ, the Great and Powerful, wasn’t all that bad” The Guardian
“Nobody wants to see Hugh Jackman as a creepy bald pirate.” The New York Times
“Grim, bizarre prequel ... the official worst-ever Peter Pan film adaptation of any sort. And that includes Hook.” Chicago Tribune
“This joyless, juiceless take on the Peter Pan story is a theme-park ride from hell” The Rolling Stone
Holy, moly those are some awful things to say about a movie! Surely some of you out there will love this film whether because you’re a Hugh Jackman junkie (who can blame you) or you love Joe Wright in spite of (or because of) Anna Karenina or maybe it’s the colorful headdresses or the idea of the lost boys singing. If you loved it, let me know, so I can share your good word. As for me, I think I’ll wait for the dvd.