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‘Pan’ Review Roundup: Is The New Spin On The Classic Tale A Hit?

Sat, October 10, 2015 10:59am EDT by Avery Thompson 2 Comments

The classic Peter Pan story is getting an all-new look in ‘Pan.’ Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund and newcomer Levi Miller go on a wild adventure in Neverland, but do they pull off the new twists? Here’s what the critics have to say!

Are you ready to go back to Neverland? Pan hit theaters on Oct. 9, and the beloved Peter Pan is going on an entirely new ride in this origin story. Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara, Garrett Hedlund and Levi Miller tackle classic characters in Pan, but is this fresh take worthy of a trip to the movies? The critics are weighing in!


Who wants a prequel to Peter Pan? J.M. Barrie’s classic hero captures our imagination because he’s the Boy Who Won’t Grow Up; the idea of watching him as a regular kid, before he got that way, misses the point. And yet, here we are. Joe Wright’s film is not only a prequel, it seems to want to set up a whole Pan-verse to mine for franchise potential…It not only gives us an elaborate origin tale — turns out young Peter’s got noble warrior lineage — but it also offers the sight of our hero and his future nemesis James (a.k.a. Captain) Hook as best buddies.

Chicago Sun Times

Full of non-stop action, an intriguing new take on J.M. Barrie’s classic “Peter Pan” tale and some old-fashioned, swashbuckling mischief led by Hugh Jackman, director Joe Wright’s “Pan” is one heck of a charming romp.

Entertainment Weekly

Who in the world was crying out for a prequel to Peter Pan? And especially in this lumpy, vanilla form, in which Peter (Levi Miller) is swept to Neverland, where he cavorts with nemesis-to-be James Hook (Garrett Hedlund, sounding like his lines were dubbed by Sam Elliott on Ambien). The dialogue is groan-inducing—“So the boy is lost?” “Yes, he is a lost boy”—but Hugh Jackman gives the movie a bit of twinkle as a pirate who breathes pixie dust to stay fresh and relevant. Maybe the people behind Pan should have snorted some.


Sometimes, classic stories don’t benefit from re-imaginings or embellishments. Sometimes, it’s not worth knowing what happened before the fun starts. Sometimes, such mysteries are best left alone. Pan doesn’t fail for lack of trying, but rather the opposite. Director Joe Wright has always been an exceptionally bold stylist… But a world as densely populated as Neverland doesn’t need the outrageous flourishes Wright piles on top of it, and it bends from the weight of all that too-muchness. The action is so frenetic, the eye doesn’t know where to go.

HollywoodLifers, will you go see Pan? Let us know! Check out another take on Peter Pan here!

— Avery Thompson