Thursday, December 7, 2023
HomeFilmPeter Pan and Wendy Review

Peter Pan and Wendy Review

Presumably Jude Law was pushed into this role the same way people are sent letters to appear as members of a jury. Not by choice, but by government order. Law is not the only man of his fine generation to provide Peter Pan its Captain Hook. Jason Isaacs fell to the crocodiles before him, and so too did Tom Waits. Stanley Tucci and Tom Hiddlestone join that list too. Point is, actors have played some amalgamation of Hook, the Captain Man, big Killian Jones, whatever other synonyms Google can throw up. Peter Pan and Wendy is a confounded adaptation, separate to Wendy from a few years ago and another in the string of live adaptation Disney flicks. It is as morbid as it gets.  

Nobody is safe from Disney money, and after the fine work on The Old Man & The Gun, the acceptable style-first showcase on The Green Knight and the repugnant frustrations of A Ghost Story, one of the most interesting men behind the camera falls to the Mouse House. In he goes, lining his pockets with Disney Dollars, a literal remnant of history no longer provided by Disneyland. Still, Peter Pan and Wendy is the task at hand and to dance around it any longer would be a blessing. Watching the latest David Lowery film is an equivalent experience to all the other live-action features. Gluttonous with some watered-down colour, another retelling of a tale over a century old. It is not the expectation of some new line of dialogue or story that is needed, not in the slightest. Peter Pan is still a firm story about how growing up is not as taxing as can be. 

What is taxing is to watch an adaptation that misses its mark, becomes a wannabe Pirates of the Caribbean instalment and struggles to push for any unique imagery. Hook will still stand as the best adaptation of the James Matthew Barrie original. Time is not running out for Peter Pan but for Disney in making this lifeless yet faux-colourful experience worthwhile. Law does not look like Captain Hook but like Law cosplaying as Captain Hook at some sweat-filled convention for washed-up souls hopelessly hoping their agent will ring with a lifeline script and a one-way ticket out of there. Half the battle with adapting childhood imagination is making it look explosive, expansive and powerful. Jim Gaffigan makes for safe and uninspired casting, a poor support to a poorer antagonist. 

Easy it is for the passer-by to get behind a Disney adaptation, once more, of Peter Pan, it is tough to disengage from the similarity of this to other pirate-themed features. Yara Shahidi makes for an emotionless and forgettable adaptation of Tinkerbell while Ever Anderson and Alexander Moloney cannot be hit at for their adaptations of the eponymous characters because, although their roles may not be the most inspiring or interesting, they are fine with the quality of script given to them. Peter Pan and Wendy sticks and Wendy on the end of it and calls it a day. Verbatim adaptations of the story with weak special effects that have a straight-for-streaming gloss to them. Friendship always wins. Don’t bring it to a sword fight, though.  

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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