Over the weekend, I went to the movies with my grandma. We saw PAN, a supposed origins story for Peter Pan (and other characters such as Sme and Hook.). The movie was just “okay.” I thought Blackbeard was really well cast. I have terrible facial recognition so I didn’t realize until later that it was Hugh Jackman from Xmen Wolverine fame. Blackbeard was really super funny (and a little bit creepy) and on point. The music in the film was awesome – Nirvana Smells Like Teen Spirit in a children’s film?! And seeing Hugh Jackman singing the song was outrageously funny too. We happened to be the only two people in the theater so I was singing along also. And the special effects were superb. Similar in scope to the effects found in movies such as Avatar. It had great cinnematics… but suffered from terrible casting (aside from Blackbeard) AND terrible writing.
Most notably, the actor playing Hook. He could NOT act… His voice was flat, monotone, and yet somehow over dramatic (despite also being monotone at the same time how the heck???) He was so cheesy he nearly ruined the whole movie. Who is this guy? I dunno, I don’t follow the stars and I never really pay attention to who’s playing who in a movie, but he just can’t act!!
Not only was he a poor choice of an actor…. What the heck was up with Hook’s WHOLE character in this film?! In EVERY single iteration of Peter Pan, Hook is a well bred fellow, who cares about “keeping up appearances”. He often feels isolated and lonely because of his dignified and refined nature, when compared to the rest of his crew who are more what we expect of typical pirates and ruffians. — How do we go from that vision of Hook, to some weird pseudo Indiana Jones like guy who is unkempt, unshaven, AND just as spontaneous/spunky/adventurous as Peter himself? In the play, in the disney film, in all of the books, Hook was NOTHING like this. — Now I know they’re telling their own tale and it’s theirs to tell so they can change things… but this bugs me. Hook is a favorite! There’s been numerous debates on if Hook is actually the good guy in the plays/books/disney film and whether Peter is the villain. Disney didn’t want to kill Hook at the end of the film because he said that the audience is going to end up liking him. Hook is one of the most iconic villains of all time. Don’t mess with that people.
In the play, Hook has a scene with Wendy where he’s mortified/disgusted of himself when Wendy points out that there’s a stain on his clothes. He also plays a fricken Harpsichord (and a flute also) in the original story, people. Okay? He’s not some weird Indiana Jones Wannabe lol.
For Hook, the most important thing in life is having “perfect form” to have “bad form” is the ultimate insult to him. It’s one of the reasons that he dislikes Peter Pan so much. Hook doesn’t even care that much that Peter feeds his hand to the crocodiles; Hook is PROUD of his hook-hand and says it’s very useful. So why would he spend so much time hunting down Peter for “revenge”? The reason Hook hates Peter Pan is more along the lines of how different Peter views the world, while Hook prides himself on “appearances” and acts like a refined gentleman – a grownup if you will; Peter by contrast, is wild, and free… Yet at times, Hook sees that Peter is able to accidentally, display Perfect Form, without even trying – this infuriates Hook who may be jealous of Peter’s natural “good form”
Despite being a pirate, hook is supposed to be refined and honorable….. He does so many things in the new Pan movie that go against his character, flirting with the savage chieftess, flirting with the mermaids (actually doing more than flirting with them, jumping off the ship to chase after them) (and yes, Hook is a lady’s man, but it’s they who desire him, not the other way around, look at how Wendy was enamored with Hook), The bomb scene in the early beginning – too risky, too spontaneous for someone of Hook’s character. Hook is often less spontaneous than this, because he is stuck contemplating his actions so deeply to try to maintain “perfect form”. Also Hook wouldn’t be a slave – he was of high status / well bred. He should have been more like Blackbeard, had a crew of his own, etc. He wouldn’t dress like that either, or be unshaven, and Hook had dark curly hair, not Blonde straight hair. (but that’s really a minor thing).
Just overall, I hated what they did with Hook’s character. It made the movie immensely less enjoyable to me — I was never a big fan of the original story or disney film, but knew it enough that the liberties taken in the new PAN just don’t sit well with me.
Also, I wanted to see WHY Hook turned against Peter, but the movie never shows this. If they’re going to do a 2nd movie, I don’t think I’ll go to theaters, but may rent it, despite the bad writing and casting.