There have been many variations of the story of Peter Pan in cinema, some okay, some terrible and a few really good ones. No matter how many times this story has been told, it seems as if they insist on trying it again. There is a new film on Disney + telling the story of Neverland, Peter Pan & Wendy.
This film does take some distinct liberties with the story, and I really liked that. Without spoilers, this movie does define the relationship and background between Peter Pan (Alexander Molony) and Captain Hook (Jude Law) in a way that I have never seen before and I found it an excellent twist.
We also get Wendy (Ever Anderson) being much more of a kick ass character than I had seen before. There were also some female characters in the Lost Boys, which have sent the Internet woke mob into a frenzy. The Rotten Tomatoes Audience score was 20% meaning that there were plenty of those complainers review-bombing the show because there is no way this was that low of a score. The critic rating was in the upper 60%, making it fresh. I just do not understand why people get in such a tizzy over something that make so little difference.
Anyway, Alexander Molony’s work as Peter Pan was fine, but I was not blown away by him. His work was passable, and was stronger at the very end, but I have seen better Pan performances. However, Jude Law’s Captain Hook was outstanding. Law embedded Hook with more character depth than we have seen in almost any other version and you could understand why Hook was the way that he was. I really dug that about this movie.
I will say that the tone of the film had some inconsistency throughout. It would go from dead serious to almost too lighthearted/campy. Jim Gaffigan as Smee was one of the biggest perpetrators of this.
This version played up the tragic nature of Peter Pan and his refusal to grow up, making it a figurative albatross around his neck. This Peter Pan was much more of a darker character with less of a heroic nature, even if in the end he was an adventure-hound. I found the new take on these characters one of the best parts of this movie.
Overall, there were a lot of goodness in this movie and I enjoyed the original takes on Peter, Hook and Wendy. The film looked great, even if the portrayal of Neverland was darker than we’ve seen it before. The scenes with the crocodile were fun and exciting and the swordplay between characters, especially Peter and Hook, was top notch.
Definitely a worhtwhile film to watch on Disney +. Would I have thought differently if I had paid money to see it in a theater? Hard to say, but as a streaming film, Peter Pan & Wendy was a worthy watch.