Monday, 21 March 2016

Pan (2015) - Movie Review

Peter Pan, the boy who would never grow up, and the franchise that would never stop churning out films like milk from an eternal cow. Ever since his inception in the 1902 novel The Little White Bird by J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan has gone on to become one of the staple fairy tales akin to Alice in Wonderland and Wizard of Oz. He's had many adaptations over the years from stage plays, to countless high school productions, to movies and to porn.
I am not even kidding.
Undoubtedly the most famous film adaptations of the characters are the 1955 Disney film, Steven Spielberg's Hook, and that 2003 Peter Pan movie with Draco Malfoy's dad as Captain Hook. Whilst all of those adaptations have their various fans and dissenters, they're all solid gold compared to today's punching bag display, 2015's box office nuclear bomb Pan.
Guess they didn't think enough happy thoughts.
Directed by Joe Wright (director of some actually pretty good movies, you ever see Hanna?), Pan is an unnecessary, gritty origin story retelling of a famous character churned out not because people wanted to make a Peter Pan movie or because people had an interesting new take on Peter Pan but because Warner Brothers wanted to see if they could squeeze some money out of the character.
Oh dear, what's this doing here?
Still, there's only one way to figure out what made a living being into a corpse and that's by cutting it open, feeling its insides and then taking its brain home and putting it in a jar. Y'know there's a reason I became a blogger instead of a mortician. Let's take a look inside Pan.
The film opens to narration detailing how " order to know how something ends you need to know how it begins" (Naw, really!?) all set to some very odd looking CGI star people.
"My god, it's full of stars!"
This then transitions to a frightened lady running down a dark Victorian era Street carrying a bundle in her hands. She runs towards a cathedral-looking building and WOW that cathedral looks fake.
When did this become the "Great Mouse Detective?
Anyway, she runs down some stairs, scales a fence and makes her way to the "Lambeth House for Boys". She lays Peter down in front of the orphanage and gives him some parting words.
"Goodbye my son, our hopes and dreams carry with you"

And then we pan (heh heh) up to the title.

Drink it in folks, this is about as convincing as the effects get.
Time skip to 1945, World War II, and we see a group of boy orphans being awoken by someone who I can only presume to be the flying nun. 

And it's here we meet our Peter Pan played by Levi Miller. This kid is trying, y'know, trying really hard to act and for what it's worth he does hold up around his other actors. The other actors in this movie aren't doing a very good job, but he's not a worse performer than any of them. I can tell he's trying his absolute best, but he never really seems "into" it. Like, he's acting as if he were playing Peter Pan on a stage within the movie, not actually playing Peter Pan. Much like the rest of the film he just doesn't quite get there.

The film goes out of its way to establish just how nasty the world is to Peter and the other children in the orphanage. The nuns in the film are almost as cartoon-y as the pirates. They steal rations from the children, there are orphans disappearing every other night leading the kids to think that they're being sold off by the nuns (which they are), the nuns are mean to the kids for no reason, and in one especially cruel bit, after Peter and his mate go sneaking about during a blitz and discover that the nuns have been nicking the food, the head nun rips up the note from Peter's mum laughing in his face while she does it. There's setting up adversity for the main character, and then there's being vicious for no reason.
Also, something that bothers me about this film and the Harry Potter series is why were the main characters left with these people? Surely in Harry Potter, Dumbledore and McGonagall could have left Harry with carers who weren't total ass-biscuits, and here Peter's mum (who, spoilers, is an all powerful woman warrior in league with magical fairies) could have easily left Peter with Nuns who weren't led by the Trunchbull from Matilda.
"Children, filthy, nasty little things. Glad I never was one!"
Also, that bit earlier were Peter and his mate go searching about, while that's happening there's a blitz going on, with Germans dropping bombs on London and what not, so forgive me if I don't get wrapped up in the whimsy whilst there are people being bombed to death nearby. 
Peter attacks the Head Nun and is able to sneakily grab the torn up note from her hands as a result. He and his mate are both caned (which thankfully we don't see).

The next night, Peter and his friend stay up late trying to see if they can catch the nuns in the act of stealing children. But the night draws on too long, Peter and his friend fall sleepy and they both go back to bed. And it's here we learn the true culprit of the kid's disappearance...CIRQUE DU SOLEIL!
When in doubt, always blame Circus Performers!
Just kidding, of course, these are the Pirates of Neverland. Having shown up just 12 minutes into the movie. No build up, no sense of tension, just BANG pirate acrobats! One of the big problems of this movie is that it's somehow both incredibly rushed and yet way too long. I'll elaborate in a bit, but the pirates showing up this early is endemic of a bigger problem with the movie.

The pirates snatch up all the kids (except for Peter's friend who escapes) and they embark on an "exciting" and "thrilling" departure across the skies of London. My question is, if this whole snatch-up has been done a couple of times then how come no one has ever seen them? You might think, "oh, it's 'cause the ship's magical, invisible to muggle eyes" well that's definitely not the case because the pirate ship gets caught up in a dog fight with British airplanes. Yeah, they get identified as bogeys and the Royal Air Force gets called in.
It'd be exciting if there was any sense of weight or tension. But there isn't, so it isn't
They escape the Airplanes by flying really far up into the air, causing the engines on the planes to sputter out and die, most likely causing the death of two air force pilots. I presume that tomorrow's papers are going to  read: "COR BLIMEY, 'ERE WAS A BIG PIRAT' SHIP ABUV LONDON 'ER WAS!". The pirate ship flies up into space and then it goes crashing down into the ocean. I would say that this section has some really awful flying effects where every character looks like they're a ball of goo loosely assembled into the shape of human but I can't, because that isn't limited to just this section of the movie. They fly through the sky beneath the ocean going past giant floating bubbles of water that really makes me question how the ecosystem of Neverland works. We even get a glimpse of a familiar face.
"Just let me eat you now kid. Trust me, it'll be better than being in the rest of this movie"
They fly and fly and it's all whimsical and magical and blah before we finally see the magical realm of...Asgard!
*sigh* Where's Thor when you need him?
No of course, this is Neverland *Ta Da*. The very CGI, very fake looking Neverland. They fly into the introduction of the Mines of Neverland and all the pirates start singing a sea shanty that sounds...very familiar. 

Smells like Cabin Boy Spirit

Did...did they just put Smells like Teen Spirit in a Peter Pan movie?

Alright, I’ll admit this scene is kind of cool as Smells like Teen Spirit lends itself really well to being a villain song and there is some legitimately good cinematography at work here (again, Joe Wright is not a bad director). Still though I can’t help but feel that it doesn’t really gel with the rest of the movie. Up to this point and afterwards the movie is and has been a fairly wrote generic fantasy with a coating of Peter Pan Paint(TM), and then this scene comes right the hell out of freaking nowhere and acts like a giant clown just busted out onto a production of Macbeth. Having anachronistic songs choices isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it needs to fit the movie. It works in A Knight's Tale because that film is mostly a comedy; it works in Moulin Rouge! because that film is nutty and anarchic already so it fits the tone. Used here? It's weird, out of place and plays like it's there just so it can be there. It's like if shortly into their quest to destroy the One Ring, Aragorn and his mates stopped for two minutes to sing Like A Virgin.

Which admittedly, would not be the stupidest thing in those movies
In any case, this is where we meet our villain, Captain Hook Blackbeard, played by Australia's gift to mankind himself, Hugh Jackman.

You are now pregnant. Even if you're not a woman. Especially if you're not a woman.
He is the absolute best part of this whole movie. Jackman seems to be either not giving a single crap or an entire drop-dunny's worth of crap about his performance, either way it leads to one gloriously ham-tacular cinematic offering. He's introduced wearing an obvious wig, sporting a rejected X-Men movie costume and villainously humming Smells Like Teen Spirit. He chews the scenery like it's bacon, delivers lines like "TREACHERYYY" and "YE BE NASTY" and is one of the few genuinely entertaining parts of this movie. From now on, whenever I criticize a scene that has Jackman in it, just take it as read that I am automatically exempting Jackman from any criticism of said scene.  

Blackbeard gives out the lay of the land, essentially hard work = YAY and then chocolate, lazy work or dissidence = NAY followed by death. Peter is dropped into the mines where he is forced to work day in and day out mining for fairy dust, which in this movie is also known as "Pixum". 

Still better than "Unobtanium"
Here we meet Smee (played by Adeel Ahktar), who explains in a really contrived way how Blackbeard killed all the fairies in order to steal their fairy dust but because they're all gone he has resorted to stealing kids in order to mine for it. Bit of a plot hole there but whatever, moving on.
And now we meet Hook, played by Garrett Hedlund. And let me tell you, if Miller is out of his league and Jackman is hamming it up enough to satiate even the most fearsome carnivore, then Hedlund is...actually I don't know what Hedlund is doing. He seems to be trying to affect a Harrison Ford devil-may-care attitude but fails horribly  at it, leading to every line coming out like he's got something in his teeth and is trying to "gruff" it out. He's one of the worst parts of this movie, he's annoying and worst of all, he never shuts up! Also, his dialogue in this scene is terrible, very clumsily setting up his character arc, a trite cliche one at that. I'll save time and just say y'know Han Solo's arc from Star Wars (the first/fourth one)? It's that.
But hey, at least he's got the hook! Kinda. 
Skipping over a superfluous Blackbeard scene, Peter finds some Pixum but it gets stolen away from him. He incites a scuffle and is taken away to be executed. He's forced to walk the plank along with some other kids who have also committed transgressions (They play Blitzkrieg Bop in this scene, for reasons that escape me). Blackbeard jumps on the board of the first kid causing him to fall to his death (JESUS!) and then he tries the same with Peter. Peter falls but stops himself because he can fly! He knocks himself out and awakens in Blackbeard's quarters. Blackbeard tells Peter that there was once a prophecy (No!) about a chosen one (NO!) who could fly, born of "...a fairy prince and a human girl..." who would rise up (NO!) and defeat him (NO!). Goddammit! Why does every fantasy movie nowadays need a prophecy? Why does Peter Pan need to be a prophecy!? The whole point of Peter Pan is that he's every little kid's wish fulfillment, never grow up, no rules that sort of thing! By making Peter a chosen one it creates a divide! Urgh, never-mind. Peter takes this to mean that his mother might still be alive. The only other notable thing about this scene is Blackbeard's hairpin. It has his initials on it!
Peter gets thrown in prison (why doesn't Blackbeard just kill him right there? It's not like he has a thing against killing kids) and Hook gets thrown into the cell next door. Hook carves a hole between the walls and tells Peter that he planted an explosive device on the back of Peter's cell. They make a deal that if Peter flies Hook out of the Mines, Hook'll help Peter find his Mum. Hook's device goes off somehow not killing Peter and they escape. They bump into Smee and he joins them in their escape attempt. They plan to use the cable cars suspended above the mine to go up to a platform where from they'll be able to fly to a galleon and escape on it. They climb into a cable car and get it most of the way but, oh no, pirates! Peter grabs Hook's sword and manages to decouple the car and rip off Temple of Doom at the same time! They swing down onto a nearby galleon, just barely missing a 10 foot drop onto the green screen below them.
Oh me, oh my, oh me that looks fake.
They ride off in the galleon, prompting Hook to exclaim "Yeah, we're sailing now!" and I want to punch him.
Punch him right in his stupid face.
Hey I just realized, Hook in this movie speaks like an American. Captain Hook is ENGLISH! Whatever.

They partake in a boring action scene, buzz Blackbeard's ship ('cause that's a smart thing to do when you're trying to escape) and fly over the enclosing wall of the Mine. Meaning that after 43 minutes (FORTY THREE MINUTES) of being trapped in this boring, BROWN Mine we finally escape into the wonders of Neverland. They crash their ship, bicker for a few minutes as Peter wants to find the natives as they might know where his Mum is while Hook and Smee just want to escape Neverland. Peter starts to head out on his own but Hook and Smee decide to go with him as they figure that if they are the ones to bring "The Chosen One" (urgh) back to the natives then they'll be handsomely rewarded.

The following scene is a genuinely amusing one between Captain Blackbeard and Bishop (his First Mate, played by Nonso Anozie) that I don't want to make fun of because it legitimately made me laugh. Also, in this scene we learn the purpose of the fairy dust, it keeps Blackbeard young.

Pan, Hook and Smee make camp for the night and the film finally slows down. Okay, character development around a campfire is a bit cliche but it's effective and...okay now they're being attacked by giant birds. "Neverbirds" to be precise.


Oh well, it IS Neverland so maybe the birds will have a cool desi...
...I changed my mind, go back to the mines.
What the hell? WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL!? Just to be clear that one in the picture above is poking its head between its legs and mooning the camera but even without the odd pose these birds look awful. They're these bird skeletons with actual bird wings and large eyes. They just look bad! Not weird, not imaginative, just plain bad! Their design repulses me! They're too ridiculous to be scary and too disturbing to be cute. When I first saw them, I thought they were going to be revealed to be like bird suits, like people inside controlling them, but when I realized they were meant to be real creatures...I just, how do It would take all the word documents in the world to voice my disgust at these creature designs but this review is going long as it is so I'll just say: WORST! CREATURE! DESIGNS! EVER!

Hook, Smee and Peter run through the jungle in a way that makes it look like they're running in place whilst a green screen scrolls by (because they are). A confusing chase occurs and then I realized why the birds look like giant toys. It's so the movie can stay PG rated even after one HAS A SPEAR SHOVED THROUGH ITS SKULL. ONSCREEN.
There's no blood, so it's okay!
The three are saved by a native, Tiger Lily, played by Rooney Mara. Okay folks, we're going to play a game here, it's called "Spot the Difference".
Tiger Lily
This Tiger Lily looks like a white person dipped in tea. Not the most perfect representation, but she's still leaps and bounds better than Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily.
Seen here wearing what I can only assume is perfectly culturally sensitive attire.

Rooney Mara in perfect, culturally sensitive attire.
Yeah, Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily. A white person portraying a traditionally Native American character. I have no horse in this race, I'm not American and as we all know Australia has always been 100% accepting of its native population (sarcasm), so lets just say that this casting decision is bullcrap and move on.

She then punches Hook out, so I guess she can't be all bad.

Hook awakens to find himself upside down, suspended by his feet, surrounded by a bunch of chanting natives. I think we've all had days like that.
It's okay buddy, I've been there.
Tiger Lily approaches him, wearing a headdress that would make Queen Amidala blush

She accuses Hook and his mates of being pirates, and that in order to stay alive he must defeat their greatest warrior "the Pan". This boss looking dude.
Pfft, yeah, bro you may think you're cool, but you got nothing on Rufio.
The fight begins and it's bouncy, though not due to bad CGI this time, they're fighting on a literal trampoline. Hook gets his ass handed to him on a silver platter at first but is then able to slightly turn the tables and fight back. Tiger Lily blushes slightly when he nods her way. I'm sure this means absolutely nothing.

Also, one quick note before I continue. The natives of Neverland have always had trouble being adapted to the screen, as they've always either come off as stereotypes or have been exoticised to the point of no longer being human. In this movie the natives are kind of a mix of cultures, Native American, Native Mexican, Indigenous Australian, Samoan, African, Pacific Islanders all mixed in together. Whilst the creators were undoubtedly trying to go for a "multi-cultural" feel which is admirable, it ultimately doesn't work because it gives of the impression that all native tribes and such are basically interchangeable and the same thing. These implications are unfortunate, but again the natives of Neverland have always been hard to adapt to screen. Points for trying but ultimately it just doesn't quite work. Still, these aren't the worst Natives of Neverland I've ever seen.
Not by a long shot.

In any case, the fight is cut short when Peter escapes. He tries to intervene in the fight but gets knocked back to the Village Chief (played by Jack Charles). The Chief notices Peter's necklace, stops the fight, shows the sign of the Pan (Peter's necklace) and everyone bows to Peter.

Tiger Lily shows Peter "The Memory Tree" which details how in the past the natives and the fairies united and fought against Blackbeard in his crazed search for the Pixum. One day, the fairy prince sneaked aboard Blackbeard's ship and found his mistress "Mary" (Amanda Seyfried), they eloped, he gave up his fairy immortality to be with her as a human for one day, they porked and then he croaked. 
So, you know, typical relationship stuff. 
Mary dumped Peter at the Trunchbull orphanage and then returned to Neverland to continue the fight. But when Blackbeard started to win, she and all fairies hid inside another world until they could return (Wait, isn't Neverland already "another world"? Whatever.)
Also, something about Rooney Mara's performance in this movie rubs me the wrong way. She's not bad, well, no worse than anyone else in the movie, but she has this weird English accent thing going on, it's all whispery and makes her sound like she doesn't know what she's talking about. But hey, at least she shows a whole gamut of emotions from A.
Yes, I used this picture again. Because it's funny.
To B.

Also, did they really need to make Peter a fairy/human hybrid? Was that really necessary? Like I mentioned earlier it creates a divide between Peter and his target audience!
Moving on.
Peter is understandably stoked about his Mum being alive and is adamant about leaving to find her right now, but the village elders aren't sure he is "The One" yet. They tell him he has three days to learn how to fly and THAT'S THE PLOT OF HOOK!



Urgh, whatever.
Hook questions Peter upon whether or not he believes himself to be the messiah to the natives to which he replies that he doesn't know.
Ah, so we can add Harry Potter to the list of things this movie ripped off:
- Star Wars
- Superman
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland
- Hook
- Harry Potter

Peter goes out to the edge of a precipice and tries to work up the courage to jump and fly but finds that he just doesn't have it yet. Meanwhile, as Smee goes out to take a leak, he's ambushed by Blackbeard and his crew. Seeing as how Smee doesn't want to end up on the end of Wolverine's claws, he squeals like a pig about the village's location and the existence of the hidden fairy kingdom. 
Wait, Blackbeard didn't know where the village was?
In previous scenes, Blackbeard had had his flying ships scouring the jungle looking for Peter and the village.
This is what the village looks like. 
If Blackbeard can't find THIS with his FLYING SHIPS, then frankly, he deserves to lose.
Oh and then Tiger Lily and Hook try to have a romantic moment.

Avast, the pirates attack! Buckles are swashed, swashes are buckled, people are being shot and dying! Their bodies laying on the ground as the camera focuses in on their eyes as the life drains from them! Blood and guts are just spilling everywhere marring the once beautiful jungle! Trees and shrubs and landscapes get ripped apart by cannon fire salting the land meaning nothing will ever grow again! Blackbeard rips out a innocent woman's heart, showing just how much of a monster he truly is! And Peter, poor innocent Peter, the weight of all the death and destruction bears on him as he realizes what being a messiah truly means!

Pfffffft, nah just kidding. What actually happens is that anyone who's shot bursts into paint.

Yup, much like that Neverbird that got stabbed through the head, all of this rampant death is a-okay because they burst into paint when they die! And as long as it isn't blood, the little one's sweet innocent sensibilities won't be threatened.

They run and jump and fight but Tiger Lily and Hook get surrounded. I'm just going to transcribe a section of dialogue from the movie.

BLACKBEARD:      Well, well, well, the princess, I presume?
HOOK:                      Oh, well actually I'm just a miner but I appreciate the compliment!
BLACKBEARD:       (annoyed) Bishop.
(BISHOP punches HOOK)

I am now officially rooting for the bad guys.

The villagers are roundly trounced and rounded up. Blackbeard brings out the Chief, Tiger Lily and discount Rufio and offers them an ultimatum; tell them where Peter is and where the fairy kingdom can be found and he'll let them live. The Chief responds with a forced reference to the original book and is promptly shot. Remember, this summary execution is okay because, again NO BLOOD! He moves on Tiger Lily and Hook reveals that there's a map in order to prevent Blackbeard from murdering her.

While this is happening, Peter is climbing down some very plastic looking cliffs.
This film is very flat looking and with so many green screens it makes even all the practical sets look like plastic and rubber.
Peter rides in on a flock of those horrible looking Neverbirds and saves the day, giving off the most unenthusiastic "Yeah" I've ever heard. He gets thrown off and is cornered by Blackbeard inside a tent. It's here that Blackbird gives off a bombshell. You see, young Peter will never find his mother because...BLACKBEARD KILLED PETER'S MOTHER!
"Search your feelings, you know it to be true!"
Hook swoops in and saves Peter and along with Tiger Lily they escape down to the valley below. Tiger Lily chews Hook out for revealing the location of the Fairy Kingdom, Peter chews out Tiger Lily for lying to him about his mother to which Tiger Lily responds to him that it's complicated, Hook chews out Tiger Lily for being ungrateful for saving her life, basically there's a lot of chewing going on. 
They figure that the only way they're going to reach the fairy kingdom is by going down the river through Mermaid Lagoon. 
They construct a raft out of what I can only assume to be twigs and chewed gum...
...and then set out on their way.

Back at the tribe Blackbeard finds the map to the fairy kingdom and so orders all of his men to go and find it before our three "heroes" do.

We then cut to a quiet scene of Peter, Tiger and Hook floating down the river. Okay maybe NOW the film will finally slow down and let us learn SOMETHING about these characters. Because otherwise, we'll have spent the entire movie knowing just basic things leaving them very one-dimensional: Peter is plucky and brave, Tiger Lily is fearless and Hook is an idiot. I'm not asking for much but just something! Even just putting effort into their one dimensional-ness could make them entertaining characters (like most of the cast of Star Wars), but here they just come off as bland or annoying! So, does the film slow down now?
Of course not. *sigh*
The Crocodile attacks and the three try to fend off the beast with their torches but Peter gets thrown into the water where he's grabbed by the scaly beast.
"I told you before kid, but you didn't listen! Let me eat you now and you might still have a respectable career in TV after this!"
God those mermaids are creepy! It's hard to show how with just pictures and words, but they're these awful looking CGI models with Cara Delvingne's face superimposed on all of them. Given a choice between being in the water with these things and the crocodile, I'm choosing the one that'll just eat me and not consume my soul. The way they look creates an unsettling effect where they land smack dab right in the bad section of the uncanny valley.
That "zombie" should be replaced by "The Mermaids from Pan"
Ariel and company save the three and take them to dry land. Hook tries to "talk" to them (YES, kill them now before their kind can breed!) but they swim away, disappointing Hook but satisfying me because it means that I don't have to look at them anymore. Hook spots a derelict ship off in the distance and goes off to investigate it.

Peter asks Tiger Lily why she lied to him and she explains that while her Mother was killed by Blackbeard, it's more complicated than he believes. She takes him to the Waters of Memory and shows him ANOTHER flashback! And this one has all the dignity of a bunch of bubbles fighting a bunch of sand. Because that's exactly what it is.
If you can't tell what's going on in this picture, then you know how I feel watching this scene.
Peter learns here that his mother was a great warrior, that her sacrifice still inspires the natives today but Peter feels he can't live up to her and WE KNOW ALL OF THIS ALREADY!

Every single thing we learn in this flashback has already been explained! TWICE! So instead of learning anything new it feels like they're just wasting time when they could just get on with it!

Hook comes back and takes Tiger Lily and Peter to the ship. He says that they can fix it, fly away, and never have to be bothered by this nonsense again. Tiger Lily rejects his offer, but Peter seems reluctant.
Of course he chooses to stay behind and fight with Tiger Lily, while Hook seemingly flies off into the distance. Well, I'm sure we're never going to see him ever again!
Peter and Tiger Lily find the entrance to the fairy kingdom, but little do they know they're being watched!
"Yes, soon all of the fairies will be dead and then I'LL be the most fabulous creature in all the land!"
The entrance to the fairy kingdom is covered up by a huge wall covered in writing that only Peter can read. Oh, by the way earlier he tried to read English but found the words just kept moving around, but he can read fairy writing. So, it's almost like his brain was hard wired to read an ancient mystical language and not English. At least it's original!
Peter reads the wall that says only the "Prince with the key can  open the door" (paraphrase). Blackbeard and his posse burst out, rip Peter's necklace off, use it to open the door and then charge into the Fairy Kingdom on their one ship.

Wait, didn't Blackbeard have an entire fleet of ships earlier?
Why yes, yes he did.
I'm just saying that the eternal destruction of your hated enemy probably requires more than one ship, is all. What, was it "Talk like a Pirate Day" and everyone was just getting really existential?
Blackbeard sails in and makes a beeline for the fairy hive.
My god, it's full of stars crystals!
We see the fairies fly in, and one of them even sounds very familiar.
"Hey, Listen!"
No, of course, that's Tinkerbell, making her mandatory cameo before going off to do better things.
That's "better" in a relative sense, of course.
Jackman starts going absolutely nuts, commanding his pirates to "BURN THEM-A! BURN THEM AAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL!". The pirates start flaming the fairies down. Peter begs Blackbeard to stop, claiming he'll do anything. The pirate accuses Peter of bad form (ha. ha.) and cuts him and Tiger Lily loose, demanding that they kneel before Zod Blackbeard. Peter refuses and Blackbeard goes in for the kill when...
"Great shot kid that was one-in-a-million, now let's blow this thing and go home!"
Hook flies in to the save day (y'see, Blackbeard, had you brought more than one ship this wouldn't be a problem) and so buckles are swashed, swashes are buckled, floating ships clang together and none of it is exciting. We know so little about these characters that I find it hard to give a crap about any of them. If Smaug flew in right now and burnt everyone to death I wouldn't bat an eye.

Actually, I take that back we do learn one interesting fact. We learn the truth about Blackbeard. Y'see this entire time he has been deceiving both the characters in the movie and us, the audience. A truth that when revealed, shakes up the entire movie and puts everything in a new perspective! For you see Blackbeard...IS BALD!
More swashing, more buckling ensues for a few minutes before Hook crashes his ship, killing Bishop (NO!). The ship's hanging on to cliff by its anchor, but Hook is holding on by just his fingers. He slips and begins to fall (YAY!). Peter jumps down after Hook, grabs him and finds the courage to fly! Hoo-bloody-ray.

He brings Hook to safety and then amasses the fairies around himself. He gives the cliche "we can beat him if we work TOGETHER" spiel and then they swarm the pirates.

Look at him, flying like a rag in a wind tunnel. Isn't it magical.
The fairies defeat the pirates in such an immediate and handy way that I wonder how there was even a war to begin with. Blackbeard and Tiger Lily still swash and buckle whilst Peter acts as Fairy Jesus.
Smee escapes in a life boat but all the other Pirates are dropped into the abyss by the fairies leaving only Blackbeard. He holds Tiger Lily hostage but Peter just sics the fairies on him as they presumably begin to eat him alive.
"Mmmm, tastes like ham"
Peter, the little psycho that he is, watches in glee.
"Peter, shouldn't we escape the ship before it crashes?"
"Not yet, I want to watch him DIE!"
Blackbeard's ship crashes and falls into the abyss. Poor bastard, died as lived, singing Nirvana. The fairies form into Peter's mum as they have a heartfelt goodbye, she tells him that he's all messiah like and special and yadda yadda yadda. There's no emotion to it and it's so heart-bleedingly saccharine that I just want to vomit up rainbows. Sentiment in a movie is hard to do without it becoming overwrought and this film fails at it.

Peter uses one of the Pirate ships to rescue the remaining kids from the orphanage (Lost Boys haha) and he takes them back to Neverland. Hook and Tiger Lily wrap up their romance, who cares. They make a dumb reference back to the original books and then they fly up to the ending credits. 


No, wait a minute! Peter and Hook end the film as friends? Why!? 

Oh, wait I know why. The people who made this movie, they thought they were gonna get a sequel/trilogy. Oh, that is, so, so very sad.

"I'm gonna kill you when you're older."
It's no wonder why Pan was a critical and box office failure. The effects are choppy at best, I never believed in anything that happened in the movie motivation wise, or effects wise and there are a thousand and one different distracting plot holes that just ruin the whole thing. Even if the script was airtight it would still be a needlessly grim retelling of Peter Pan, filled to the brim with cliches and ripoffs of other better movies and to top it all of, it includes one of the LAZIEST prophecies I've seen in a film (seriously, we never find out who wrote the prophecy or were it came from). The pacing is awful, it's simultaneously way too long and yet completely rushed, we never learn anything about these characters, it's just one bad looking CGI action scene after the other with no sense of tension or suspense in any of them. With the small exceptions of Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, Adeel Ahktar as Smee and Nonso Anozie as Bishop, the acting is bad, with actors either coming off as bland or annoying. And to top it all off, the ultimate criticism I can make of this film is that it's DULL! I felt nothing for anyone, I didn't care if they succeeded or failed, lived or died ANYTHING! I made fun of a lot of the plot holes and logical inconsistencies in this movie but none of it would matter if the emotion was there and it was real. It wasn't, so it isn't.
Ultimately, Pan is just another bad movie. I don't recommend it to anyone, it's too violent and mean-spirited for kids and it's just going to bore anyone else. If you have a need for a Peter Pan film, watch literally any other version than this, because this film just ain't magical.

I give Pan The Stinky Socks "Award" for Certified Cinematic Badness.

Next Review: 06/04/2016
"I come from a land down under..."


  1. A very interesting read. Really enjoyed reading your observations on different elements in the movie, and the dry wit is, in this crocodile's opinion, quite entertaining. Not to mention the pictures. God, gathering all of those must take some time, but it's a very effective way of breaking up text nicely.

    In terms of criticism, I think a major barrier for a lot of potential viewers is the size. In my opinion, you could cut down or simplify the explanations of what occurs in the movie. Often times, a brief overview is enough to understand the point you're making, and this method would leave your observations on the movie unaffected.

    Also, as a personal note, I found the font to be a bit uncomfortably small as I was reading. Upping that a little bit would go a long way (for me, at least).

    Anyway, after reading a blog post so dripping in hype for this movie, I am really pumped to go watch it. I might even try find a collectors edition. I just want to throw my money at it, you know? My motto's always been to support quality movies (my dry wit is still in development).

    1. Hey thanks man! I appreciate your advice and will take it to heart. Yeah, I admit I had a bit of trouble recapping scenes from the film, I tried not to make them too long but I also wanted the reader to have context about what was going on. Seems I didn't quite succeed there but hey, learning for next time. This was my first ever movie review of this nature and I thank you for your feedback.