Pan

Release Date: October 8, 2015
Review Date: October 9, 2015
Reviewer: Lauren Leath (13) & Hannah Herrington (14)
Genre(s): Family, Sci-Fi & Fantasy

They always say to never grow up, but in this filmyou actually dobecause unlike most Peter Pan films, here you get to experience Peter's entire origin story.

Levi Miller, Rooney Mara, and Hugh Jackman steal the show.  If there is a weak link, it's Garrett Hedlund, who portrays Captain Hook.  We enjoyed him all right, but the way he speaks, approaches people, his presence...it seems like he's trying too hard and acting.

If the film has a particular strength, it's the uniqueness of it all.  From miners, fairies, and "never birds" we haven't seen before, to the pre-dating of Wendy, Michael, John and the rest, it's a very different story.  The tribe itself, to which Tiger Lily belongs, is also very bohemian.  And Neverland, of course, feels fun and campy, in a good way, a place they're passing through rather than intending to stay.

The music was perfect, especially in the end.  It had a nice rhythm to it, and worked well with the scenes.  In the action sequences, the music stays out of the way, letting the special effects carry the day.  Similarly, in the slower sequences, the music defines the mood.

Blackbeard seemed like two different people.  In the beginning, well, we won't give it away...but in the end, he's the complete opposite.  

Peter's background story was really interesting, and Amanda Seyfried did a great job as Peter's mother.  If anything, we just wish she had been in it more.  After all, it's hard to fully explore Peter's backstory without his mother being represented more.  In hindsight, it's as much Blackbeard's story as it is Peter's.

Obviously a set-up film for Part 2, we wish they had spent a little more time describing the relationship between Peter, Hook, and Tiger Lily.  They do a fair amount of this, but when it ends it is a bit too abrupt.    

We think the film is appropriate for all ages, but younger kids will probably get bored during Act I (the beginning) and the beginning of Act II (the mining portion).  We think kids, even boys, will enjoy Tiger Lily and her colorfulness and outgoing spirit.  She's a fighter, courageous enough to stand up for herself.  If there is a scary portion of the film, it's at the beginning, when the pirates snatch the boys from their orphanage.

In summary, we think you'll enjoy Pan.  After all, "All you need is a little faith, trust, and pixie dust," and Pan delivers all three.