"Why not use an actual picture from the movie Pan?" you ask. Well, because that movie spent every minute of its runtime doing whatever the hell it wanted regardless of what would've made sense, so I will too.
Early on in Pan, Peter is floating through space after the Neverland pirates forget to tether him to their space pirate ship, and he drifts off on his own towards Saturn. To his surprise (and my bewilderment), Saturn is for some reason the size of a basketball, and Peter inexplicably bounces the planet around for a brief moment before being sucked into Neverland. It's not a fun moment; it's not a moment that means anything. It just sort of confusingly, inconsequentially happens.
That's what the entire movie feels like. Pan is bereft of logic, explanation, meaning, and any sense of fun or involvement. It's not like it wasn't trying to make sense in a "fantasy film" way, it simply really sucked at trying to make sense. There is not a hint of character development either- the movie's characters are at the mercy of doing/knowing/saying one thing at one moment, and then doing/knowing/saying something completely different the next moment because the screenplay changed its mind again. I sat through the movie alternating between two emotions: straight-faced and frustrated, or perplexed as to why it made 99.9% of its unbelievably terrible decisions.
Actually, you know what? Pan didn't try one bit to have any kind of structure, so I'm not going to bother structuring this review like I usually do. Like the movie threw a bunch of ideas at the screen and hoped some stuck (they all did! But they were mostly all bad), I'm going to throw out information about the movie so you know exactly why it's not worth your money, time, or passing thoughts. I didn't have any fun watching the thing, so I might as well have some now.
I'll try to keep this as spoiler-free as possible for all you masochists out there who will still see Pan anyway.
- I'm fairly sure I've heard every line of dialogue from Pan in other movies before. None of the dialogue came close to a discernable original thought. Tired clichés from start to finish.
- There are a lot of jokes, it being made for kids (I think?). Maybe it's because I'm not 4 anymore, but I did not laugh at any of them. If you're old enough to remember watching this movie when it's over, you probably won't find it at all funny.
- The callbacks to the original animated film are cringeworthy. Here is an actual exchange between Blackbeard and his servant (the latter of which is basically the same character as Barbossa's first mate in the first Pirates) after Peter escapes from them:
"Is the boy still lost?"
"Yes, he is a lost boy."
- Hook is a chauvinistic jerk to Tiger Lily, yet she still giggles and smiles at his forced advances. Can we please stop writing "romances" like this?
- Upon the initial arrival to Neverland, Blackbeard's crew and slaves are all singing "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana... what!? Later, during an execution of children, they sing and dance to "Blitzkrieg Bop" by The Ramones. WHAT!?
- It's a cliché chosen one/special one/fulfiller of the prophecy story. The prophecy fits Peter so specifically it's laughable.
- Whenever a character needs to know something (or how to do something) in order to advance the narrative, they just suddenly know it without explanation. Example: "Children left the orphanage?" (Logical conclusion: they were adopted). Peter's conclusion: "They must have been kidnapped or sold as slaves! Let's keep a watch out tonight!" (Plot is launched forward).
- The movie makes up SO many random rules in order to try and make sense. I can imagine the screenwriter deliberating with himself: "The pixie saves this character by turning human, but he can't do it again because... uh... when a pixie turns human... they, uh... only live for 24 hours after. There we go."
- When Pan uses flashback storytelling, it doesn't simply flash back- whatever the characters are next to happens to be a flashback device. "This is the tree stump of the past!" or "because mermaids swim in these waters, they are imbued with memories." Seriously.
- Blackbeard hunts pixies because snorting pixie dust makes him live forever...?
- Hugh Jackman delivers his lines like THEY WERE ALL WRITTEN IN CAPS LOCK!
- Garrett Hedlund delivers his lines like every, word, should, be, emphasized!
- Child actors often suck, and oh my do they in Pan.
- Every mermaid has Cara Delevingne's face, which is immensely disturbing.
- Rooney Mara is actually alright, but speaking of her role...
The only thing Pan keeps from the spirit of the original Disney animated classic is... racial insensitivity! The original was blatantly offensive in its stereotyping of Native Americans, so Pan tries to rectify that by making the "savages" all sorts of mixed-race people. Except for their princess/leader Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara), who's been whitewashed whiter than a slice of classic white wonder bread. Great. Instead of straight up racism, we get white imperialism. A real progressive movie you are, Pan.
So is there anything good about this film? I guess the visual style is fun and colorful enough- until the godawful CGI makes all of Neverland look completely fabricated. Near the beginning of the movie there was a shot in London that made me think "hey, that's a cool shot." And that was the most I ever enjoyed the movie.
Ok, I'm done writing about this abject failure of a film.
Damn it, Pan.