Monday, December 5, 2011

Hook (1991)


Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins, Maggie Smith, Caroline Goodall, Charlie Korsmo, Amber Scott, Dante Basco

Peter Banning (Williams) is a corporate lawyer who is neglectful of his family. While on holidays in England at Grandma Wendy’s, whose granddaughter Moira (Goodall) is married to Peter, his children (Korsmo and Scott) are kidnapped by the renegade Captain James Hook (Hoffman). Peter must now return to Never Never Land and, with the help of his trustworthy Pixie friend Tink (Roberts) and the Lost Boys, save his children.

One of Spielberg’s disappointments, the films biggest fault is its lack of imagination and magic. It’s devoid of a lot of spirit for too much of the time, especially through the opening sequences, and Williams performance as The Pan is hard to relate to and too comedic for such a dramatic role, slipping in backward one-liners which make his character hard to understand.

Hoffman, one the greatest actors we will ever see, as Hook is brilliant; conniving, dark and one of the great villainous performances we’ll see in a family-friendly film. Hoskins is a great match as Smee and Smith is delightful as Wendy in one of her less bolshy performances.

The film tries to be a modernisation of the JM Barrie tale, but kind of ends up dismissing much of the enchantment of Never Never Land in place of some unexcusably bad effects and a whinging group of MTV Generation kids. Also the film title, of all things, seems to be misleading; doesn't the story centre around Peter?


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