October 20, 2015
By Tiffany Skelnik
Pan, directed by Joe Wright, stars Levi Miller as Peter, the boy who eventually becomes Peter Pan, Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, Garrett Hedlund as Hook and Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily.
Peter, played by Levi Miller, is an orphan with an incredible destiny. Twelve years after being left at the doorstep of a boy’s home in London, he finds that boys from the home are being mysteriously grabbed in the night. Soon enough, he finds himself in dire straits as he becomes one of them. Peter is taken to Neverland, where the nefarious Blackbeard, played to perfection by Hugh Jackman, is mining fairy dust and using the children as laborers. While in the mines, Peter befriends James Hook. After a series of mishaps, it is revealed that Peter is the boy from the prophecy that will save Neverland from Blackbeard. This is when the adventure really begins, as Peter is recruited by Tiger Lily, the princess of the native tribe to embrace his destiny.
The film itself has its strengths and weaknesses. One of the strengths comes from the performances of the actors. Hugh Jackman gives a standout performance in the role of Blackbeard. It was easy to tell he enjoyed the role. One minute, he performs comically and the next he is holding a sword to someone’s throat with anger in his eyes. He made Blackbeard an over-the-top and despicable character.
Levi Miller does fantastic in the leading role of Peter Pan. He was extremely fun and heartbreaking to watch. Seeing the determination and the pain in Miller’s performance was one of the highlights of the film and it is clear he knew how to carry the film. His performance makes Peter a character to root for and his scenes with Garrett Hedlund who played Hook are some of the best moments in the film.
Garrett Hedlund adds a roguish nature and a level of charm not expected of the infamous Captain Hook. However, he also delivers subtle moments in which we see the characters’ weaknesses. The brotherly moments that he shares with Peter provide a good contrast to Jackman’s flamboyant theatricality as Blackbeard.
The one weakness that Pan suffers is the over the top effects, particularly in some of the battles. Everything else the film offers is visually stunning, from the flying to the fairies to the mermaids, but the over the top use of CGI in the battle scenes pulls away from the enjoyable and fun ride.
Pan is an original and innovative take on the Peter Pan story that most of us have grown to love.