He Can Fly
Before watching Pan, itís important to know that this movie is a Peter Pan origin story. So donít be disappointed when many of the characters from James M. Barrieís popular Peter Pan childrenís fantasy are missing or barely there -- including Wendy and Tinker Bell -- or appear quite different than expected. In this often fast-paced action adventure, we meet Peter as a 12-year-old orphan and follow his exciting adventures right after his abduction into the magical world of Neverland.
Peter can fly, weíre sure thatís true.
But when was it that Peter knew?
The movie Pan shows when and why
Peter first soared beyond the sky.
Pirates brought Peter to their space
for cheap labor at Blackbeardís place.
And there he meets a man named Hook,
surprising us with his new look.
Reluctant heroes they become.
Evil Blackbeard they want undone.
Tiger Lily joins in the fray
to make the villain Blackbeard pay.
No wonder Blackbeard fears so much,
for Peter has a special touch.
His destiny involves this place.
Will he win out in any case?
Special effects work overtime
to make this film a movie prime.
Hugh Jackman plays the bad guy part
flamboyantly with all his heart.
When action starts, just watch the race
of pirate ships floating in space.
Peter and Hook -- can they stay friends?
Listen in as the prequel ends.
Directed by Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice), who always pays close attention to the look of his films, Pan benefits from the impressive cinematography of John Mathieson (The Phantom of the Opera) and Seamus McGarvey (Anna Karenina, also directed by Wright). Plus, the imaginative production design by Aline Bonetto (A Very Long Engagement) adds to the filmís fantasy feel, and some of the special visual effects are mind-blowing, especially when Peter enters the battles after realizing he can fly.
However, the screenplay by Jason Fuchs (Ice Age: Continental Drift) left me a bit confused, and I have some concerns about the casting. Although Levi Miller (A Heartbeat Away) makes an appealing Peter, itís not easy for Hugh Jackman fans like me to accept him as the ugly and villainous Blackbeard. Yes, he puts a lot of energy into the role, but I canít help wondering how he was able to keep from laughing at himself in those outrageous costumes, make-up and hair styles. I would have cast someone like Alan Rickman as Blackbeard. Ironically, Jackman would have been great as Hook, a reluctant Han Solo type hero. Still, Garrett Hedlund (Unbroken) surprised me with how well he also fits Panís younger Hook character. Unfortunately, Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) seems miscast as Tiger Lily -- even though her unique beauty shines through.
The last half of Pan may be exhausting to some viewers because of its fast-paced action, but I think the filmís amazing special effects make the entire movie worth watching.
(Released by Warner Bros. and rated ďPGĒ for fantasy action violence and some thematic material.)
For more information about Pan, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.