(Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Levi Miller, Amanda Seyfried, et al / Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD / PG / 2015 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: 12-year-old orphan Peter is spirited away to the magical world of Neverland, where he finds both fun and danger, and ultimately discovers his destiny - to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan.
Blu-ray Verdict: OK, in all honesty, I really wanted this movie to be good. I just wanted it to be a great new kids/young adults romp that allowed Hugh Jackman to spread his wings and eager viewers from all over to hug it for all they were worth. I wanted to watch it and become a kid, once again.
Sadly, none of that happened, for as much as 'Pan' bears a lot of similarities to other adventure films, family animation and even role-playing games, it is just not all it should have been cracked up to be! True, it packs myriad of visual antics across the journey of self-discovery, however, it's also painfully one dimensional and predictable - using the "chosen one" plot to a fault. While it's admittedly aesthetically pleasing, this is not the innovative origin story it's advertised to be, sorry.
In a world tormented by pirates, one child must discover his destiny. You've seen this before. Some angles have been changed, but this is typical Peter's adventure to Neverland. It's so overused, one might find half the script in Final Fantasy games. Not to mention it's riddled with fantasy genre cliché and uninspiring romance subplot.
To their credit, the actors do a fine job. Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard is a good antagonist, he looks the part by carrying the character with ominous charisma, either it's by his flamboyant dialogues or even timely singing. He can appear funny yet still threatening. Well, as threatening as a villain in family flick can be.
While Blackbeard looks fit for Hook's replacement, Hook himself is played by Garrett Hedlund, who ironically tries too hard to be young Hugh Jackman. His delivery is forced to create a suave persona, but most of the times he just looks out of place. Levi Miller as Peter handles himself pretty well. The story focuses heavily on this boy's fate, and although he can seem rough at some scenes, he brings a commendable performance as the lead.
Graphical prowess plays important role, almost too much, and on its better parts Pan definitely has the stylish charm of fantasy vista. Setting is filled with colorful designs and details, although CGI takes the helm on most cases. Its soundtracks are splendid, it simply doesn't let go. From subtle chimes, loud symphony and even shanty version of popular songs, the audio is brilliant.
'Pan' would've been great if it didn't copy so many elements from other movies. In nearly every scene, there's a hint of 'Pirates of Caribbean', 'Mad Max' and multitude of classic Disney flicks. The straightforward plot doesn't help either, it's tedious to see the predictable developments ahead. Ancient prophecies, letter from the past and hidden power manifestation are tired gimmicks. Please, you know he's gonna fly at some point!
For a movie that looks so appealing, had so much hope and promise, 'Pan' never really takes flight. One might find happy thoughts on the visual and songs, but the CGI charm and adventure gimmicks will not last through its boring plot. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
- Director's Commentary
- Never Grow Up: The Legend of Pan
- The Boy Who Would Be Pan
- The Scoundrels of Neverland
- Wonderous Realms
Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD Purchase Link
Warner Bros. on Blu-ray!
Own 'PAN' on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack or DVD on December 22 or Own It Early on Digital HD on December 15!