Directed by Joe Wright
Written by Jason Fuchs
Starring: Levi Miller, Rooney Mara, Garrett Hedlund, Amanda Seyfried, and Hugh Jackman
Pan, which serves as a prequel to J.M. Barrie’s story of the boy who would not grow up that, is so ubiquitous in our culture. As omnipresent as Barrie’s story is in our culture, it seems a story that is right for a prequel to present a new take on a continuously adapted story. However, Pan fails to accomplish the primary purpose of a prequel, to set up the story that eventually happens. The film does not explore how Peter Pan became the boy who would not grow up, or how Peter and Capitan Hook went from allies to adversaries. The film never states that Neverland has properties that keep one in a constant state of youth, or what motivations Peter has to acquire his famous moniker. Hook and Peter begin and end the film as allies. The movie contains painfully obvious foreshadowing to the future relationship but never tells how it happened. Does Warner Bros. intend to turn Pan into a series of films explaining the origin of the Peter Pan character? Warner Bros. may have bitten off more than they can chew because Pan (as of 9th of October) is tracking to be a box office bomb.
On one hand Pan has some spectacular visual effects, the pirate ships looked great. On the other, the movie also contained some bad CGI and obvious green screen as well. I still cannot grasp how a film can contain both wonderful and awful visual effect elements. The visuals are not the only bipolar aspect of the movie; the film is tonally all over the place. One minute the movie wants to be an adventure movie for children, at the next it wants to play to a slightly older crowd. And if that was not enough, Joe Wright tries to do this weird Baz Luhrmann thing with Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirt” and The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop”. What was he thinking? Did that even have anything to do with the movie? No, no it did not.
Although, to the credit of Pan, did have some good in with all the bad. Hugh Jackman and Levi Miller were excellent as Blackbeard and Peter Pan respectively. The best thing you can say about their performances is that they make the film watchable. Take away the odd directorial choices made by Wright, the core of the movie written by Jason Fuchs was a nice little kernel of an idea.
Pan overall, is an entertaining adventure movie that suffers from schizophrenic direction and poor execution of an otherwise solid script. Pan receives 2/5.