Pan: You need to see it to believe it – Not in a good way

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Pan: You need to see it to believe it – Not in a good way

Diego Crespo, Staff Writer

Hook has Robin Williams and a whole lot of Spielberg empathy. Pan is burdened with the prophetic storytelling and jaw droppingly stupid moments. Both are worth watching if you want to see how hard the mighty can fall, but only one is worth your time and money…”

Pan is burdened by an obligatory “chosen one” story and blatant prequel syndrome.

Prequel syndrome is what happens when an original story decides to tie in every possible footnote from the popular version of a story or sequel to make sure the audience is aware of the connections.

Look to the Star Wars prequels or The Amazing Spider-Man duology for the biggest examples of this.

Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader not because he was constantly tempted by the dark side of the force, but because he was basically willed into doing so.

Peter Parker was no longer the unlucky nerd in highschool, but a cool rebel without a cause who was destined to become Spider-Man because of magic blood (this is literally what happened).

Just as those choices seemed haphazard and unnecessary, Pan’s version of the titular character must also fulfill a prophecy to kill a villain.

That villain is Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, a “cartoonish” villain who has his crew of pirates aboard his flying pirate ship sing along to Nirvana’s hit song “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

No, this movie does not take place in the 1990’s. If that sounds terrible to you that’s because it is. But it’s not unwatchable. It’s the sort of fascinating awful decision making that makes for an entertaining viewing experience but makes you wonder who is responsible for this mess.

Jackman’s villain persona has crafted its own niche identity. A punk rock style presentation with the sort of Shakespearean hubris that might belong in a better movie if not for tonal inconsistencies. It’s a sight you need to see to believe.

Levi Miller as Peter Pan is great in the central role burdened with idiotic plot discrepancies and blatant computer generated imagery popping out from behind him, however Miller’s charm as an actor will bode much better in future movies.

Pan might be a flop (rightly so) but Miller has serious acting chops. Keep an eye on this kid.

Less good here is Garrett Hedlund.

Halfway between a bad Jack Sparrow impersonation and a firm understanding of Gary Busey’s antics, Hedlund feels out of place in a movie where mermaids exist and boats fly.

The casting of Rooney Mara – a beautiful and talented actress – in the role of Tiger Lilly still perplexes.

The native Americans in this story are meant to draw from a variety of cultures and ethnicities, but they still feel like caricatures we should have done away with decades ago.

Despite what was just mentioned about racial ethnicities and whitewashing, a better title for this movie would have been Joe Wright’s World of Color.

The visuals are eye-popping, even when they’re painstakingly fictional, but they’ll enwrap the audience with panache.

Several sequences feel more at home with a lost Indiana Jones sequel but without Spielberg’s keen eye or sincerity.

Since comparisons will be brought up from now until the end of time, you probably want to know if this is better than Hook – a movie that gets by on sentimentality but is actually a fustercluck when it comes to presentation.

Hook has Robin Williams and a whole lot of Spielberg empathy. Pan is burdened with the prophetic storytelling and jaw droppingly stupid moments.

Both are worth watching if you want to see how hard the mighty can fall, but only one is worth your time and money thanks to the late and great Robin Williams.

Hook still has Hugh Jackman and the pirates singing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the Jolly Roger if you’re into that schlock.

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