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Review: ‘Pan’ turns childhood classic into trainwreck

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“Pan” was a movie I didn’t have a strong opinion on coming in, I was just hoping for the best.  Well, the good news is that I do have a strong opinion coming out.  The bad news is that it is not a positive opinion.

The movie is about the origin of the legendary Peter Pan, a 12-year-old orphan who is taken to Neverland to find adventure, danger and eventually — his destiny. The movie is  directed by Joe Wright and stars Levi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, and Rooney Mara.  

To start off with what “Pan” does right, it is not much at all.  Hugh Jackman has the best performance in the film, and even he overcooks it from time to time.  His character was the most enjoyable to watch and the best part of the movie as a whole.

There were also some moments where the visual effects looked kind of cool.  However, for the most part, the visuals were way too colorful and unrealistic to gain anything from.

This movie takes place majorly in Neverland, a place that is supposed to be fun and whimsical. But “Pan” apparently thought otherwise.  There is no fun to be had in this movie, with every joke being a lackluster dud and every attempt at fun being ruined by its horrid dialogue or its complete ridiculousness.

There are so many times where the idea of magic is blatantly used as a plot device to tie up the loose ends, but it just doesn’t make any sense.  Magic cannot just make every dumb idea that pops into this director’s head a reasonable one, but Wright must have thought differently.  Water that has been made by mermaids to contain the past?  You aren’t even trying, man.

The acting — minus Jackman — is truly awful, specifically from Peter Pan himself.  Miller is a 13-year-old boy, so I’ll try to be a little easy on him.  Miller is horrid and absolutely garbage as Peter Pan.  Miller makes one of the most likable characters in animated history a whiny, mopey kid who I could not root for at any point.  Don’t think you’re getting off easy, Hedlund, who gives James Hook a comically bad accent and no likability whatsoever.

The plot is a mess, so why even bother trying to talk about it? Because that’s why I’m here, ladies and gentlemen.  The plot is one convenience after another, with scattered nonsense and stupidity mixed in.

The movie even tries to give cute little nods to its source material, but they all come as incredibly forced and gimmicky.  Some may say I am being too hard on a movie that is made for kids, but that is not the case.  Disney has proved time and time again that movies can be made for kids and adults to enjoy.  Plus, this movie has some scary, violent moments that little kids would be terrified of, so there is no audience that this film works for.

Overall, “Pan” is a complete mess that tarnishes a beloved character.  The visual effects are distracting, the acting is bad, the dialogue and the story are even worse — making this an absolute misfire from its director, Wright.  

“Pan” may be a kids’ movie, but that is no excuse to throw garbage on a screen for nearly two hours.


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