The story of Peter Pan has been told on celluloid too many times to count, hashed and rehashed but generally always the same.
Pan is different and tells the story of Peter Pan in a way that it has never been told before, focusing on the origins of the boy who could fly, refused to grow up and whose best friend was a little fairy called Tinkerbell.
As the movie opens a baby is left abandoned at an orphanage with nothing but a note and a mysterious necklace placed around his neck. Fast track a few years and he’s grown into an inquisitive and some what mischievous twelve-year-old boy. Living in the orphanage Peter longs for the day he will be reunited with his mother.
Strange things happen at night in the orphanage, with boys disappearing into thin air. One night Peter finally finds out what has been going on, and its then that his journey to Neverland begins. Aboard a flying Pirate ship the boys are unceremoniously dumped in the mines of Neverland with the rest of the worlds orphans to mine for Pixum, the elixir of youth. Running the mine is the flamboyant Captain Blackbeard ( a fantastic Hugh Jackman) who runs the place with a style that is all his own.
When Peter gets himself into trouble over a discovery of Pixum his fate seems to be sealed when he is forced to walk the plank and fall to his doom.Luckily whilst falling to his death Peter discovers he can fly and it is then that his life begins to change.
Thrown into prison Peter and new-found friend James Hook ( Garrett Hedlund) plot an escape after Peter learns that he is part of a prophesy and his very existence means the demise of Blackbeard. Armed with this knowledge that Blackbeard will probably end his life sooner rather that later they blast their way out, picking up an unlikely stow away on the way out.
Along with a somewhat frighten Mr.Smee ( Adeel Akhtar) the trio set off to find the lost tribe of boys and the last rebel outpost so that they can find out more about the prophesy and bring an end to Blackbeard’s reign of terror. They stumble upon Tiger Lily ( Rooney Mara) and Peter is set to fulfil the prophesy and rid Neverland of the evil pirates, if only he could manage to believe in himself and learn to fly.
The newest instalment of the Peter Pan story is an imagined prequel and gives a bit of a back story as to how Peter became the leader of the lost boys, taken from writings of J.M. Barrie’s 1904 stage play. Director Joe Wright has made it into an eye-popping, hyper colour adventure that flies through one CGI moment to the next. Hugh Jackman is almost unrecognisable as Blackbeard but yet plays the role with style and panache. Rooney Mara may be a controversial choice as Tiger Lily ( she was originally American Indian) however she embodies an attitude that she is one girl that you don’t want to mess with.
As James Hook, American actor Garrett Hedlund is nothing like the previous incantations of the swash buckling pirate that audiences are more familiar with. He’s a little bit of Indiana Jones and Han Solo, quite the lovable rouge. His tendency to over- enunciate each line in an out- of- place American accent is a times a little grating and annoying considering everyone else seems to pull off an English accent rather well .
With two more movies planned for this latest Pan adventure it will be interesting to see where the franchise goes with the next movie. It’s a fairly harmless fun ride that both kids and adults will enjoy.