Another 39% on Rotten Tomatoes? Another film that I enjoyed way more than the score shows. I found the movie Wendy that popped up on Vudu today. The Peter Pan story has had a hard run recently, but this film takes that tale in an all new direction.
Wendy (Devin France) and her older brothers, the twins Douglas (Gage Naquin) and James (Gavin Naquin), jump aboard a train, escaping their problematic lives. Peter (Yashua Mack) leads the three of them to his island where they never grow old and stay young forever.
The re-imagining of the Peter Pan tale is done extremely well here, which is even more impressive considering how bad some of the other films involving it have been (e.g. Pan). This has a more realistic feel to it than any other version of the story I have seen before. I had an immediate feel of “The Lord of the Flies” to this movie. The kids on their own, trying to create their own little world.
Some of the fantastical elements of the movie (specifically Mother) did not work as well as most of the film because this is simply did not make much sense. You did not understand what Mother was or what abilities she had. It was a mysterious part of the story that was underdeveloped.
However, the kids who aged, while also fantastical, was a much more fascinating story. This was used as a way to bring into the story the new version of Captain Hook (Kevin Pugh). The introduction of Hook was extremely emotional,tragic and very well done.
The kids did a great job leading this story. Devin France as Windy was fantastic, but felt so much older than she was. I pictured her as a much older person than what she was playing. She has a distinct presence about her and could have a bright future.
I also found Yashua Mack to be charming and really a perfect Peter Pan. He captured the style and the panache of the iconic character for a more realistic world. The use of “flying” in this movie was done so well with the train and with the water and this technique was very creative.
Directed by Benh Zeitlin, the look of the shots and the cinematography is an even greater benefit for this movie. It is unfortunate that I won’t have the chance to see this film on the big screen, because that would be an experience worth the time.
Though this is based on the classic children’s story, Wendy is not necessarily a film that would be good for children. This is much more targeted for an adult audience with its slower storytelling and its adult language and themes. Younger viewers may be bored during scenes that I found invigorating and life affirming.
This is way better than 39% and you should search this one out.