I like whimsy and fantasy, but this really didn't click for me. I couldn't get into it, and it just came off as flase and hollow. The story is an interesting one, and deserved to be made, but it should have been far better than this. I mostly fault David Magee screenplay and Marc Forster's direction. I like how Forster constantly jumps from genre to genre, always trying to do something new, but I think he might be better off picking just one genre and sticking with it. This movie just seems all over the map both tonally and with it's aims.
The film looks great, as do the costumes, set pieces and camera work, but the music is a bit too sappy and it boggles the mind how so many people think this film is amazing. Granted, I sometimes love stuff that others hate, but still. The film feels like it is trying to hard to be important and precious, but the justification just isn't there. That, and the film is boring. How this happened is beyond me. A fun and inspiring story like this shouldn't be draggy and boring.
I did like some of the acting though. Hoffman elevated things, and Kelly Macdonald as Peter Pan was a great touch. I kind of liked how Depp actually dialed it down here instead of being wildly over hte top like so many of his other performances, but this is a case where I think he shouldn't have been quite as restrained. I'm not saying go nuts, but maybe be a little more eccentric. He did great with the accent though. I love Kate Winslet, and she's not bad here, but she's really not given a whole lot to do, and that's a shame. Because of this, maybe they should have cast a lesser known. I'm all for well knowns scaling it back and not always taking the spotlight, but she looks bored. A collaboration between her and Depp should have been wonderful, not a fizzley let down. I will say that Freddie Highmore is dynamite here. Hell, he's pretty much the highlight, and, given who else is in this, that really says something about the mediocrity. Great actors aren't supposed to be outshined by children (unless the children are just as excellent).
I've spent more time talking about this than I should have. Look, the film's not terrible, it's just boring, cliched, predictable, and a shallow retread of something that's been seen many times before and better.