Sumpter, Jason Issacs, Rachel Hurd Wood, Richard Briers, Lynn
Redgrave, Olivia Williams and Ludivine Sagnier
Directed by: J.M. Barrie
Peter Pan really is a boy! See, in all the prior Peter Pans to
date he's either a waifish women or a middle-aged man. Here, the
studio decided to cast the part correctly and actually follow
the story. Does it work? Oh, yes indeed.
. Wendy Darling (Rachel Hurd Wood) and her brothers
are adventurous sorts. 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 and faster than you can
say, "Mary had a little la
" the excited little
group is off.
Neverland is a sanctuary for children - here that means 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.
neglected a bit of brochure worthy info on Neverland. Seems he
has this pesky till-the-death battle raging with the notorious
Cap't Hook (Jason Isaacs). Seems he and Hook go way back. And
now that Pan's back Hook sets sails for the lad and our imaginations
set sail with them.
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 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.
pauses and looks between young Wendy and Peter capture that first
undying love sort of way young folks tend to look 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 apples
wait, that was this years other pirate starring film