Photo Credit by Fresh Movie Trailer
By Kenneth Kim
When you hear the name Peter Pan, what are the first few things you think of? A boy dressed in green flying around? The villain in ABC’s show “Once Upon a Time?” Or do you imagine the Disney movie and start to reflect on some of your favorite scenes.
Whatever you thought of, did you ever wonder how Peter Pan became Peter Pan? How he ended up in Neverland? And how he became rivals with Captain Hook?
The new Warner Bros. Picture film, “Pan,” answers these questions, as the film is an origin story of Peter Pan.
This film had a chance to add more layers and depth to a classic character. After viewing it, this film makes a valiant attempt to explain Pan’s origins, but misses an opportunity to provide a fully satisfying tale.
The lack of an original backstory for Peter Pan and pacing in storytelling seem to be the film’s two biggest letdowns.
Without spoiling too much of the movie, the explanation on how Peter Pan becomes Peter Pan is that he is half human and half fairy. This generic formula of the main character being half human and half mystical being seems to exist in every fantasy film or piece of literature today.
As for the pacing, the film seemed to rush the story and could have benefited by slowing down to develop the scenes more. It feels like it develops characters, introduces problems for Pan to overcome and quickly shows how Pan rises up and confronts his adversary too quickly.
The rushed feeling of the film can be also seen in the introduction and development of characters like Blackbeard.
He is the main villain, and yet he is not given much of a backstory and instead is given a generic villain arc in the film. The arc goes as follows ― Blackbeard is introduced, his true intention is figured out, he fights Pan to get want he wants and at the end, no spoiler warning needed, you know what happens to him.
One of the film’s bright spots seems to be the interaction between James Hook and Peter Pan. Because he is the infamous Captain Hook and had battles with Peter Pan, in this film the audience is told that Hook and Pan were friends in the beginning.
This friendship may take a little time to digest for the Pan enthusiast. But after fully digesting, the viewer will be want more, as the interaction between the two characters are the moments that make the film watchable.
To summarize, Pan may not fully deliver or provide insightful background for Peter Pan’s character, but this movie displays glimpses of potential throughout.
With a slower pace to allow for fuller scenes and more time focused on character development, “Pan” could have been a better-rounded prologue to Peter Pan.