Levi Miller and Hugh Jackman in a scene from Pan.
Levi Miller and Hugh Jackman in a scene from Pan. Laurie Sparham

Latest Peter Pan offering may divide opinion

Stars: Hugh Jackman, Levi Miller, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara.

Director: Joe Wright

Rating: PG

Reviewer: Seanna Cronin

Verdict: 3/5 stars

THE vibrant, pantomime world of Pan is likely to divide movie-goers.

The Peter Pan origin story, created by writer Jason Fuchs, is over-the-top in almost every way.

It’s visually stunning and energetic enough to keep the little ones entertained over these September school holidays.

But those of us old enough to remember films like Hook and even the classic 1953 animated film Peter Pan, both inspired by JM Barrie’s literary tale, will find it hard to warm to this prequel, which imagines Peter (Levi Miller) and Hook (Garrett Hedlund) as friends who team up against the cruel pirate Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman).

If anyone can make a pantomime pirate scary, it’s Jackman.

He pulls off Blackbeard’s bizarre opening scene, featuring Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, confidently thanks to his musical theatre chops.

But it gives you the feeling you’re about to watch a musical, when Pan is nothing of the sort.

As far as prequels or reboots go, Pan is brave and fully commits to its eccentric take on Neverland.

Young Brisbane actor Levi Miller is great as the orphan who discovers his true family roots and eventually becomes the hero we know Peter Pan to be.

Miller’s face is mesmerizing on screen and he certainly holds his own in his on-screen adventures with his adult co-stars: Jackman, Garrett Hedlund (Hook) and Rooney Mara (Tiger Lily).

Supporting actors Nonso Anozie, as Blackbeard’s henchman Bishop, and Adeel Akhtar as Mr Smee also add some great slapstick humour.

Pan tries a bit too hard to reinvent a classic story but it still has a solid moral story at its heart for the little ones.

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