By Vic Holtreman
Short version: A magical film that is great viewing for kids and adults alike.
Imagine with me, if you can... a movie about Peter Pan in which the title role is not played by either a petite female actress or a short hairy Jewish comedian. Wouldn't that count for HUGE points right off the bat? Well in Universal's release of the new Peter Pan movie, that was just one of the things that was done right.
I didn't really know what to expect when I sat down to see this film. I went and checked out ScreenIt.com's review of the film from a parent's viewpoint, and decided to take my 7 year old daughter to see it. I'm very careful with what I let her watch and had been concerned that it might be too intense for her despite the PG rating. (I have about as much faith in the MPAA's ratings these days as I do in the government's ability to spend taxpayer money wisely, but that's a whole 'nother rant.)
The film was beautifully shot, lush in detail in Neverland, although I felt for some reason like I didn't get to see a whole lot of it. The actors chosen for the leads of Peter Pan and Wendy were fantastic. They are both charming... he had that impish twinkle in his eye and she had this wonderful maturity about her and the director really got across the sense of innocence o?n the edge of maturity with all that boyfriend/girlfriend stuff that is so very insanely complicated at that age that makes o?ne feel so incredibly vulnerable.
Hook was great, very malevelont (is that a word?) but not too much so for a PG film. Most of the other characters in Neverland were pretty much throw-aways. Nothing much very memorable, including Tinkerbell, but then again there's not much to that role I suppose.
Special effects were great, in particular the flying scenes inside the kids room right at the start of the film. Flying is always so hard to portray in a way that looks natural to the eye. Yes I know it's not real, but if you've ever been a comic book reader you've imagined how it would look in reality from the drawn page, and your brain can just tell if it's not right.
Go ahead and check it out if you have kids. Being a parent my viewpoint is skewed... but I do think this movie is great even as a standalone film for just adults, so even if you don't have kids, it's still a great flick.