One of the benefits of a sequel or remake is that films can readily re-use sets. Millions can be saved by using the same background with the extra cash reserved for star salaries and expensive CGI. ‘Pan’ is a case at point. The umpteenth and very familiar re-telling of the Peter Pan legend, audiences may experience déjà vu. Glitzy and expensive looking, the story seems to have been copied from better predecessors.
Spirited away to the magical kingdom of Neverland, Peter (Levi Miller) wonders what has happened. Discovering a place of beauty and danger, he slowly realises why he was transported there. Upon meeting villainous pirate Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman), Peter has to meet the threat head-on in order to fulfil his destiny as the heroic Peter Pan.
‘Pan’ is a typical product of current Hollywood formula. Setting up an origin story in order to create a franchise, it is a very by the numbers affair. The Peter Pan story has been told countless times with this latest version adding nothing new. From Joe Wright’s pedestrian direction to the truly appalling performances, ‘Pan’ mechanically goes through the motions. The use of over the top humour grates with the screenplay dubiously talking down to its audience.
The one saving grace is the special effects which are suitably dazzling. The creation of the fairies and Neverland is startling with the money well spent. Sadly the CGI is hung on a poorly scripted and predictable movie. There’s never any sense of joyful fun or the elusive ‘wonder’ which such a film needs. ‘Pan’ simply exists to become a cinematic cash-cow for a greedy studio. In this instance it deserves scorn for the cynicism its film executives have shown to its audience.
Despite its glossy visual flair, ‘Pan’ is a poor excuse of a movie. A mediocre adventure, its presence on the silver screen devalues the writing of Peter Pan’s creator J.M. Barrie. It’s an embarrassingly bad yarn of little merit with its promise of sequels of which audiences should be afraid.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 1
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.