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(Review originally written at 21 July 2005)

"Peter Pan" is lacking on several levels, mainly due to the way the movie its story is told. Still this is a movie that is visually gorgeously looking and has some impressive special effects that all surpassed my expectations.

Still "Peter Pan" remains a disappointing movie, mainly also because it has so many missed opportunities. The movie doesn't feel one bit adventurous or imaginative. It's almost as if the movie is taking itself way too serious. Also this is one of those movies that could had used some more humor and fun entertaining moments, like you would expect from a fantasy movie such as "Peter Pan". Will kids enjoy this movie? Not halve as much as "Hook" I'd say. But maybe the biggest missed opportunity of the entire movie is Jason Isaacs. I was excited when I first heard that he was going to play the famous captain Hook, I thought he would be perfect for the role. He was however highly underused in the movie and he didn't had an awful lot to do. I even liked him better in his role as the father Mr. Darling. Also most of the other characters are highly underused and underdeveloped. Smee, John, Michael and the lost boys don't seem to have a purpose at all in the movie and they could have easily been left out.

The movie also does not feel coherent. At times the movie just jumps from one scene to another. It's almost as if there was some missing footage in between them.

But yes of course the movie does has its moments and strong points. I kind of like the whole fairy dance sequences, which in my opinion is really cute and sweet and I like the way the love story between Peter and Wendy is portrayed. Jeremy Sumpter and Rachel Hurd-Wood are a nice sweet screen couple and there is some real chemistry between them on the screen. However I'm sure that in 10 years from now these two won't be in the business anymore, they will be one-day-flies. They are simply missing the talent to stay in the business.

Really strongest point of the movie is the fantastic visual look it has. It has some really nice sets and some really splendid special effects. Also the musical score by James Newton Howard deserves praise.

Even though as a movie this is a better one, I still find "Hook" to be a more recommendable movie than this one. This is mainly because this movie is lacking in adventure and fun moments...and it has no Dustin Hoffman as Hook. Yes, I know this movie follows the book of course more closely than Hook, which is an entirely different movie and story of course but I'm sure that the young ones will far more be entertained by it. Perhaps this movie will be best appreciated by adults.

This movie could had been a great swashbuckling adventure ala "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" but sadly it ain't so. While watching this movie I also couldn't help thinking about one thing; What if Tim Burton made a Peter Pan movie. How perfect would that be? I couldn't think of one better director to truly capture the magic and story the Peter Pan book has. Wishful thinking, I know.

Seriously, you're better of watching "Hook" or Disney's "Peter Pan" from 1953.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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