Peter Pan is an orphan child living in a nursery where children are mysteriously disappearing, so one night he decides to find out why. Turns out children are being abducted by space pirates, and on that very night Peter himself is abducted and taken to Neverland – a magical place in which Hugh Jackman forces small children to mine for pixie dust and sing popular songs that will be released 40 years after the film is set. Then through a series of events Peter realises that he’s really special or something I don’t know, I stopped paying much attention after half an hour.
What a mess. What a dreadful, appalling mess of a film. It is absolutely all over the place. So all over the place in fact that it took me about half an hour to realise whether the film was actually quite charming and endearing or if it was just awful. It’s awful. It’s like the product of a car crash and a badly acted pantomime.
The acting is universally dreadful with the sole exception of Hugh Jackman. But there are many different types of poor performance in Pan, ranging from the classic terrible British child acting of Levi Miller to the “I’ve just realised how bad this film I’m in is” performance of Rooney Mara. Hugh Jackman tries so hard to pull this film out of the toilet but it is not enough. Elsewhere Adeel Akhtar is criminally underused and let’s all take a moment to mourn the death of Garrett Hedlund’s career, for he in a film full to the brim with woeful acting was the absolute worst.
Pan as a whole looks like it really needs to go through another four or five edits because it just isn’t coherent. It doesn’t make sense and that’s because there is no narrative through line, the filmmakers are more interested in slipping blitzkrieg bop in over slipping a plot in. Although I’m also not sure it was a film that really had much promise. I’m not sure anyone cares about Peter Pan’s origins, and they definitely won’t after watching this.
But it’s not all bad. For me there is something really charming about a film that just doesn’t know how rubbish it is. A film that keeps going no matter what. And Hugh Jackman is very good. That’s about it though.
Overall, let’s all try avoid this film. What a Mess.