Pan (2015)

(On Cable TV, July 2016) We did not need Pan. Not now, when Hollywood studios addicted to the mirage of guaranteed profits are busy trying to take a hundred years of pop culture and hammering it into their three-act paradigm. Here we have Peter Pan reimagined (gag, spit, eye roll) in a sequel in which nothing of particular importance happens except remind us of other better takes on the same story. Director Joe Wright is too much of a professional to make an entirely boring film, and so the poor souls forced to watch the film will be able to, at least, enjoy a Spitfire-versus-galleon fight (don’t ask), colourful visuals and a tribal rendition of Nirvana’s “Smell Like Teen Spirit” that is so misguided and out-of-place as to defy any reason. I highlight this as one of Pan’s better moments because by the end of the film, it’s obvious that bad is better than boring. The script tortures the Peter Pan myth until it can be treated like one of so many disposable fantasy films, dispensing colourful visuals over a story so familiar as to inspire annoyance. Known actors such as Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried and Rooney Mara do their best with badly written characters, to no avail. Pan was a box-office failure and a critical disappointment, and it’s not hard to see why: far from being colourful and original, it feels incoherent and disjointed, rushing through the motions of a CGI-heavy fantasy adventure while never having anything of its own to bring forward. It’s more tedious than anything else, and it’s depressing to wonder what other movie could have been green-lit for this amount of money.

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