By Linley McCord
The latest Peter Pan backstory film leaves much to be desired and brings up more questions than it answers. Bring together a weird a cappella version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” with Hugh Jackman as Black Beard and an overwhelming amount of sub-par CGI and you’ll have a pretty good idea of the quality of this film.
The beginning is decent as you see where Peter Pan originates. His young, forlorn mother drops him off in a basket outside an orphan boy’s home just before the start of World War II. The film jumps 12 years to meet a rambunctious Peter (Levi Miller) who is constantly rebelling against the harsh nun who runs the home. Everything is over-dramatized, to the point where you might think this would be a good kid’s movie.
But then a pirate ship drops down, kidnaps all of the orphans, and zips off to Neverland. They are then deposited amongst hundreds of thousands of orphans from around the world to mine for fairy dust. Peter discovers he can fly, a prophecy about him is revealed (which explains why all the orphans are being kidnapped), and he escapes the pirates with his friends James Hook (Garret Hedlund) and Sam Smiegel (Adheel Akhtar), who becomes Smee.
They find a group of natives who terrorize the pirates, and Peter reignites his search for his mom. The natives (led by Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily) take the trio in, but their location is discovered by Black Beard (Jackman), who tries to annihilate everyone.
The plot is continuously building on itself but the resolution never comes. You’ll never discover what happens to end the friendship between Hook and Peter. You don’t even see Hook’s hand is eaten off, though you do meet the perpetrator. There is a vague reference to the Lost Boys but they don’t ever band together. The film, overall, is a cheap rip-off of all other Peter Pan movies.
It made an attempt at being a kid’s movie, to a certain extent. The plot was fast enough and the script simple enough, but both seemed incredibly underdeveloped. It falls flat with a 3/10 stars.
Rated PG for action.