|Newcomer Levi Miller stars as the boy who could fly.|
Directed by Joe Wright
Produced by Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Paul Webster
Written by Jason Fuchs (characters by J.M. Barie)
Starring Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Amanda Seyfried, Adeel Akhtar and Levi Miller
After prestigious period films like Atonement and Pride and Prejudice, Joe Wright has returned with an extravagant Peter Pan prequel. Young Peter (Miller) is left on the doorsteps of a London orphanage by his mother (Seyfried). Twelve years later, he is stolen by pirates and taken to Neverland, a magical world of flying ships, fairies, natives, mermaids, and crocodiles. Blackbeard (Jackman) puts Peter and his fellow orphans to work in the pixie dust mines, where he meets James Hook (Hedlund). The pair escape with the amusing Smee (Akhtar), and they’re captured by the natives. Peter might be small, but he could be the one to save the princess Tiger Lily (Mara), her people, and the fairies from the wrath of Blackbeard and his crew. In an adventure that will set his destiny, Peter must fight alongside Hook, the natives, and the fairies to put an end to Blackbeard’s rule.
Being a fan of the original Peter Pan story, this thrilling jolt of sugar-coated escapism is a dazzling feat for Joe Wright. The film is perhaps too rushed, and certainly takes a wrong turn here and there, but it’s extremely delightful on the whole. Of course, the visuals are lovely, with the effects, costumes, sets, and overall scope immaculate. Levi Miller is a great discovery, offering the best performance of Peter Pan to date. The rest of the cast is solid, though Rooney Mara is sadly - and obviously - miscast as the native princess of the island. But Hugh Jackman is menacing as Blackbeard, and Garrett Hedlund is a devilish charmer as the legendary Hook. Naturally, the critical beating this film has suffered will turn some viewers away, yet it remains thoroughly entertaining to the ten-year-old inside. Peter Pan has always been a fascinating tale, and Joe Wright’s interpretation is a wonderful piece of entertainment, even if it skimps in some areas.
Oscar Potential: Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, Best Original Song (“Little Soldier”, “Something’s Not Right”), Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Visual Effects