DIRECTOR: P.J. Hogan
NOT A PART OF OUR COLLECTION
May Contain Spoilers!
Will we be adding this to our collection? MAYBE
50 years after Disney’s classic 1953 version of J.M. Barrie’s timeless tale, director P.J. Hogan brings us a live action version which should have Steven Spielberg reeling. It’s always difficult to tackle such a well-worn classic as this and keep it both relevent and entertaining, but this a film which feels more crafted than made.
Unlike Spielberg’s Hook (1991), Peter Pan has several things going for it. The first is the inspired choice of a British actor to play Captain Hook, Jason Isaacs, who delivers his performance in a devilish, evil yet playful manner. One which is as appealing as it is dark and the same can be said for Peter Pan (Jeremy Sumpter) and Wendy (Rachel Hurd-Wood), who both add weight and meaning to their respective characters.
But it’s nice to see a live action version which tells the story as it was meant to be told, looking deeper into the ‘Peter Pan complex’, the boy who simply will not grow up, as both the child within us all or just the immaturity of those who refuse to let go of childish things.
But he is also played here as a troubled lad, with Sumpter almost on the brink of tears in every scene, with a smile forced up on his face when his character demands it. This could well be because the boy can’t act but I liked it, it worked and I hope that this was the intention. And finally, there’s the production design.
The entire film looks like a story book, with fluffy clouds, strong colours and outlandish imagery and again, it worked well. I wanted to see Neverland as place of wonder and imagination without it being shoehorned in to my brain, as was the case with Hook, and here we are given a subtle and yet bold vision of the mystical land.
This would defiantly rank as the best version that I have seen to date, with the look, feel and tone which I would hope for but not necessarily have expected and Hogan, along with his team and his choice cast have made this a reality and done Barrie’s classic work justice.