"What if Peter Pan grew up?"
Hook was one of the many movies I remember vividly from my childhood. It's also one I remember liking a lot more than I do now. The movie is nothing amazing. It's definitely one of Steven Spielberg's weaker movies, but still a fun and entertaining one. The production is pretty large and looks really good, for the most part. How they decided to do the Peter Pan story for Hook is interesting and although it could have been better, I liked it.
Peter Banning is a 40 year old lawyer who has no time for his two children, Jack and Maggie. He makes promises to them, but ends up always missing the important moments. Him and his family fly to London to visit Wendy, who is having a ceremony to dedicate an orphanage to her name. Peter remembers her as the lady who found him a family, but Wendy tries to explain to him that he's really Peter Pan. He's forgotten it all, but when his children are stolen from their beds in the night and a letter with a sword through it says Captain Hook; Peter is forced to remember as he is taken to Neverland by Tinkerbell.
I like the usage of symbols and foreshadowing in the film. My favorite part of the movie is when the family first arrives at Wendy's house and we get all these little clues from the dialogue. When in Neverland, the movie begins to get extremely silly and maybe to silly for its own good.
Hook is a decent family movie. I wish it was as good as I remember it being as I kid, but older eyes show the glaring imperfections. Dustin Hoffman gives a wonderful performance as Hook, which is nice, as the rest of the cast is pretty weak. All in all, it's a worthwhile movie if you like the Peter Pan story, just don't expect anything too amazing.
It's the character exploration and emotional details that push this would-be mundane family film forward. There's also a hint of sophistication over your every day children's film (Death, Unrequited Love) which is always a good thing.
The problem is that these themes are ultimately sugar coated down for said younger audiences and consequently don't have their expected impact.
Also, Hoffman makes a remarkable Hook. Probably the best pirate on screen until Depp's Jack Sparrow. All in all? Good film.
In this film, Peter Pan has grown up. Shocking! He is married and has two annoying kids. Trust me when I say "annoying". They travel to London where Wendy is getting a hospital dedicated to her. While Peter, his wife, and Wendy go to the ceremony, Peter's annoying children, Jack and Maggie, are kidnapped by Captain Hook. Tinker Bell then revisits Peter and takes him back to Neverland, where things haven't been so right since he left. There, he meets the Lost Boys' new leader, regain his children, and face his longtime nemesis, Captain Hook.
This is one of my favorite Spielberg film and one of my favorite Peter Pan renditions. If explores a question we would have not bother looking at: What if Peter Pan grew up?
Robin Williams plays the main character. Williams is an actor that entertains me and can also get on my nerves. He plays Peter well. I enjoyed him. Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook was quite silly but passable. Julia Roberts as Tinker Bell was good and Maggie Smith (Professor McGonnagall) was good too. Bob Hoskin was entertaining as Smee as well. We all love Smee, do we? Denise Richards: annoying. Her acting: "meh". A lot of the children in the film are weird actors.
The effects are cheesy but just like Hoffman's performance, its passable. The writing is just what you expect from a family film. A GOOD family film. I think one of the problems critics had with this movie was the amount of weird, oddly executed, scenes. Some of them include:
*Santa Claus being the umpire at Jack's baseball game. What was that all about?
*That weird dude that lives with Wendy.
*The cheesy scene where Hook kidnaps the children.
*The scene where the mermaids give Peter CPR underwater. Okay???
*The scene where Peter has a feast with Rufio and the Lost Boys.
*The scene where the pirates have their own baseball game.
The list goes on and on. Then again, this movie is set in Neverland. Strange and magical things occur there. Except for Santa being an umpire. Also, what was up with the length? This runs for two hours and twenty-four minutes. A lot of kids are going to be able to sit through that! The length makes it feel like Christopher Nolan directed it.
Its a harmless film that is so easy to enjoy. And when you do, you notice how great and fun this film is. Sure it has its weird moments. That "Boo-box" scene still frightens me. Seasrch that on Youtube! I feel to lazy to post a link. If you ever watch this, you'll wonder why critics hated it. That is still a big mystery. "Hook" will always be one of my favorite films and I think you will enjoy it too. It isn't the best but its passable and so enjoyable! I know I've already said that. Great 90s Spielberg family fun!
"This is for not letting me blow bubbles in my chocolate milk."
The idea of Peter Pan growing up has always been an interesting one, and the best parts of the film are the early scenes where we see the adult Peter (who has forgotten who he is) going through the motions of a busy working life and neglecting his children as a result. Obviously Robin Williams doesn?t have much to do from a comedic point of view since, unlike in Ferngully or Aladdin, he?s the film?s protagonist rather than the comic relief. Nevertheless, right up to the point that the children go missing, we?ve started to settle into a film which could plausibly be about emotional development and what it is to be a child.
However, from there on in, the film is tosh. Complete and utter tosh. One immediate problem is the title - why call it Hook when the story centres around Peter Pan? - but a much bigger problem is the actors involved. Most of the performances consist of people playing themselves and being completely wooden in the process. A prime example of this is Julia Roberts, who is effectively being paid to turn up and smile. Maggie Smith, who is a very talented actress, is chronically underused as the elderly Wendy, and Bob Hoskins is kicking back way too much on the job. He just doesn?t look like he?s trying hard enough, whether in his scenes with Hook or the little comic monologues which he has towards the end.
The strangest performance is that of Dustin Hoffman as Hook. Being a Method actor, Hoffman is the sort of actor who gives his best performances in gritty, realistic roles which are grounded in character development and meticulous attention to detail. Occasionally, as in Marathon Man, this can lead to self-parody, but in Rain Man, which he made three years prior to Hook, Hoffman showed that this is what he does best, namely working from the inside out. In this however, he bizarrely appears to be working from the outside in, allowing the costume and comedy moustache to do all the work while he struts around hamming it up and doing the evil laugh. Even in its more complex moments, where the script attempts to look at the pointless nature of Hook?s life without Peter Pan, he spoils it by being frivolous.
The script itself is riddled with corny lines and lots of pointless sequences which are designed, in typical Spielberg fashion, to force you to emote, to force you to laugh or cry. The arc of the story is completely predictable and yet the choice of scenes is inexplicable. Why do we need to see a baseball game being played by the pirates, when Jack?s alienation from his father has already been amply demonstrated through conversations between him and Hook? Why do the battle scenes have to be so farcical and so drawn out, to the point at which it feels like you?re watching Home Alone on a loop? And why does the ending never seem to end, with endless group hugs, reunions and loose ends being unsuitably tied?
The answer is simple: Spielberg is too obsessed with the spectacle and with second-rate entertainment. The problem is that the entertainment value isn?t that great, largely because the action sequences are either un-compelling or unoriginal, and the dialogue around them is cheesy. Even the sumptuous sets and costumes eventually become tiresome. Really the only good things about this film are that Spielberg did not take a salary for it, and that it is at least about something relatively frivolous as a children?s story. When Spielberg tries the same tricks on a more serious subject matter, like the Holocaust, it is hard to be even this forgiving.