So with the reviews coming out on “Pan”, it’s astounding how it feels like so many critics are coming in with an automatic bias to hate it based on casting decisions instead of reviewing the film. Not to say the film is absolutely mind blowing and will change the way you feel about film, but it’s good enough in its own right that it is undeserved of a lot of the hate the film is getting.
First, the bad and it’s very mixed because some of it is the films fault and some it is based on how many times can Peter Pan be redone and still find a way to make it fresh? That’s where Blackbeard as the villain and Capt. Hook as Peter’s friend comes into hand and for the most part it works. Hook is done extremely well but Blackbeard is lacking as it starts out great and it seems like there might be some ambiguity regarding Blackbeard’s role where it might revolve around him for a second but instead he just becomes an ordinary villain which is both disappointing and good. Mostly good cause it’s nice to see Hugh Jackman having fun outside of anything with claws.
The story and fight sequences are decent. The story is your basic Peter Pan story and basic descendant with a prophecy has come to save these lands story with of course the obvious twist. Now as for the fight sequences they are disappointing because the last act where you expect some big action scene kind of duds and falls flat.
With that said, why is it that this is one of the best films this fall? Because something about the film and really draws into that brave kid we all wanted to be and you believe the universe created. It doesn’t coddle children. It shows danger is around every corner and no matter what world you inhabit you have to be brave in the face of it and believe in yourself enough to fight back. Also, Peter was incredibly badass and showed why he was a hero. At one point it looks like the prophecy that was written out wasn’t true (which should have really stuck by the way since they were rewriting the origins) but he stands to Tiger Lily and talks about that what was written may not be true but both his parents stood up to Blackbeard until their final breath and so should he.
Now if you can’t root for a character like that then this is the wrong film and with as much seriousness given in the film it also lightens the mood with comedy. Legitimately funny comedy and not just an occasional fart joke and hur hur HE MADE A FUNNIE FACE!! *claps hands*
The main surprise is that nearly everything in the film feels organic and nicely paced with amazing visuals. Two parts that must be mentioned involving visuals are this animated tree sequence that shows a bit about Peter’s mother and an underwater animated sequence again about Pan’s mom. Film deserves an oscar nod for these two things alone and the different worlds it showcases.
Okay now price of admission is probably not going to win you over with those things alone but here’s the thing, you’re going into a Peter Pan movie. You already know every single beat, every single thing about to happen, and every single in joke. With that said though, you need to have an opposite approach and just lose your mind in this world for two hours and have fun. Remember that? The kind of fantasy where danger wasn’t a brooding depression and eventual take down of someone and their things with guns but a mysterious magical place where danger did lurk but you knew if you were brave enough and just went with it everything would be ok? That’s magic. That’s “Pan”.