500 Days Of Film Reviews Pan And Finds A Peter Pan Origin Story Severely Lacking In Pixie Dust

Have you ever wondered about Peter Pan?

Where did he come from? How did he get to Neverland? Why is he the leader of the Lost Boys?

Pan is a movie that attempts to answer all of these questions. So, is this film Pantastic or pure Pan(ts)?

Is It Any Good?

Peter Pan is such a wonderful and timeless story. It's a magical tale with universal appeal.

No real surprise that Hollywood would turn its gaze on the boy who wouldn’t grow up and create an origin story. 

Having just returned from the cinema after seeing Pan with my kids, I am thinking two things.

First, the entire film was one annoying and ridiculous set piece after another and, second, it managed to squeeze every potential ounce of pixie dust from a story that could have been magical.

Let’s start with what’s good about Pan.

Well, my kids weren’t bored by it and neither was I. The film moves at a swash buckling pace with lots of action - including running, chasing, falling and you get my drift.

The costumes were pretty good… erm, I’m actually stuck for what else to add. Oh, Blackbeard (played by a scenery chewing Hugh Jackman) was fun to watch at times.

Now, deep breath, let’s look at what’s wrong with Pan. 

Well, for a start, Peter (Levi Miller) is pretty uninspiring. He is given some awful dialogue - I mean truly terrible and his accent is all over the show.

Meanwhile, Tiger Lily is a real disappointment. The decision to cast the talented Rooney Mara in this role was understandably controversial. But that wasn’t Mara’s fault and neither is she to blame for her awful character.

Tiger Lily needed to be a brave warrior in this film and yet she seemed so flaky and insipid to me. Within five minutes of meeting James Hook, for example, she is simpering like an idiot - all while everything she holds dear is under serious threat.

Which brings me to James Hook (Garrett Hedlund). Oh my goodness, where to start?

He is unbelievably annoying, his voice is so irritating I was willing that crocodile to come on over. He gurns and grimaces and tries to be all Indiana Jones - he is anything but.

Confusingly for many members of my cinema audience, James Hook is a good guy in Pan. That I could take (sort of). Making him into a love interest for Tiger Lily was almost the last straw.

Sadly, this isn’t the only nonsensical element to Pan’s narrative.

The other incomprehensible factor involves Peter’s relationship with his mother.

In the original Peter Pan story, Peter does not believe in the concept of a mother. He is scathing about all maternal figures. He argues about this with Wendy who reminds him and all of the Lost Boys just how wonderful mothers can be. 

Without wanting to give too much away, Pan’s view of Peter and his mother is really quite different and I can’t see how the two could ever meet. Unless, of course, the filmmakers wish to take the Peter Pan and Wendy story and change that completely.

Let’s hope that no one gives them the money to do that

So, in conclusion, Pan is based on beloved characters. Bottom line, it makes a mockery of these characters. Bottom line, it sucks the magic out of J M Barrie’s magical story.

Bottom line, we’ve been let down by Pan.

Random Observations

I hated the use of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit in this film.

Pan is actually quite frightening in places - for young children particularly.

The special effects in Pan are truly awful. I mean terrible. They couldn't even make the flying sequences look convincing.

Of its many missteps, Pan actually executes a small, innocent boy and features scenes of mass fairy burning... Oh yes, really...

As we left the cinema, there were lots of questions about a sequel to Pan. Would you pay to see that movie? Based on this film, I don’t think that I would.

Have you see Pan? Did  you think it was Pan(ts) or Pantastic? Let me know in the comments section below.

Film Search


Jane Douglas-Jones
Jane Douglas-Jones



This site contains my own

thoughts and opinions on

films. Other opinions are

available but may not be correct.