Sumpter, Jason Issacs, Rachel Hurd Wood, Richard Briers, Lynn
Redgrave, Olivia Williams and Ludivine Sagnier
Directed by: P.J. Hogan
Written by: J.M. Barrie and interpreted by P.J. Hogan
Peter Pan really is a boy! See, in all the prior Peter Pans to
date he's either been waifish women or a middle-aged man. Here,
the studio decided to cast the part correctly and actually follow
the story as its author had written. Does it work? Oh, yes indeed.
. Wendy Darling (Rachel Hurd Wood) and her brothers
are adventurous sorts. Though, as clever as their tales of pirates
and other lands are their imaginations take them only so far away
from their attic bedroom walls.
That is until one evening Peter Pan (Jeremy Sumpter) stumbles
across them - and particularly Wendy
He convinces Wendy - to the chagrin of Tinkerbell (Ludivine
trusty fairy companion - to join him and his Lost Boys in his
world called Neverland. He assures her it's a land of great fun
and hearty adventure. She will follow if her little brothers can
Their first lesson in a Neverland necessity? The fairy dust one
needs to fly as Neverland is up over the heavens you know. Tinkerbell
reluctantly agrees to shed some pixels upon Peter's new friends
and faster than you can say, "Mary had a little la
the excited little group is off.
Neverland is a sanctuary for children who prefer to stay clear
of adult requirements. Theirs is a picturesque world with a healthy
smattering of Maxfield Parrish with a pinch of Willy Wonka in
a kaleidoscopic scape of mountains and rainforrests to run about
in playing indians or warriors while secretly longing for someone
to call mommie.
Peter it seems, in his excitement, neglected a bit of brochure
worthy info on Neverland. He has this pesky till-the-death battle
raging with the notorious Cap't Hook (Jason Isaacs). He and this
Hook fellow go way back. And now that Pan's back Hook sets sails
for the lad and our imaginations set sail with them.
Commence the adventure!
problem in the film - and what keeps it from a four star offering
- is the lead Jeremy Sumpter. While absolutely the visual image
of Pan he's lacking in the version our minds have always created.
He's a bit monotoned, while Pan is lightning in a bottle; a bubbling
boy bursting with charisma. Sumpter serves up a kind of Ritalin©
version of Pan. And speaking of lightening in a bottle
like to trap that annoying Tinkerbell in a bottle and store her
in a cabinet far far away. Admittedly I've yet to see a non-animated
version of Tink that didn't play like nine-inch nails on a chalkboard.
brings a new level of spastic to the role - horrible.
the plus side? The film follows the real story J.M. Barrie originally
intended, right down to the eerie mermaids and the less-than-kind
pirates aboard Hook's ship. This is a child's film - but in an
old-fashioned Bros. Grimm spooky villians way. Also the choice
of Neverland's oranges and blues really gave the place its needed
otherworldly bits one thrives on to fuel the imagination properly.
these frank longing pauses and looks between young Wendy and Peter
that capture that first undying love glare young folks tend to
have when first bitten firmly on the arse by the Smit bug. Theirs
is as strong as any of us remember, but fear not, it's innocent
enough the wee ones wont be thrown into a rated R arena on you.
Isaac's plays a mean Cap't Hook; literally and figuratively. He's
positively oozing sinister even in frilly velvet garbs that would
make Elton John shamrock with envy. If pirates were this hot -
and not sponsoring festing wounds as in real history - a gal might
just contemplate playing pirate herself for a few years
star of the film is really the beautiful Rachel Hurd Wood who
plays Wendy. She's every little girl as Barrie intended. He knew
that while society expected women to want for careers as moms
and dutiful wives, gals really just wanted to pounce from tree
to tree and buckle some swashes next to the boys, and still wear
frilly pretty thingyies.
speaking? Peter Pan's a fun enough journey and when it's good
recommendation: Pancakes stacked high with chocolate chips
and maple syrup with mounds of whipped cream - and a crate of
oh wait, that was this years other pirate