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Review Roundup: Joe Wright’s ‘Pan’ Refuses to Grow Up

Review Roundup: Joe Wright's 'Pan' Refuses to Grow Up

You might as well call Joe Wright’s latest fantastical swashbuckling effort, a whitewashed re-imagining of Peter Pan’s humble origins, “Panned.” The early reviews are in for Wright and writer Jason Fuchs’ one-size-fits-all J.M. Barrie adaptation, and the words are as unkind as Hugh Jackman’s wig line

“Pan” co-stars Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara and Levi Miller. The film opens nationwide Oct. 9. Read the first reviews below:

Andrew Barker, Variety
“Positioned as a prequel to J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan stories, ‘Pan’ swaps puckish mischief and innocence for doses of Steampunk design, anachronistic music, a stock ‘chosen one’ narrative and themes of child labor, warfare and unsustainable mineral mining. Worldwide box office will likely be strong, especially overseas, but the bubble for these joyless fairy-tale revisions cannot pop quickly enough.”

Todd McCarthy, THR
“Oddly repositioning Peter Pan’s emergence to the World War II era and employing a barrage of sophisticated special effects to produce no magic nearly as enchanting as Tinkerbell flickering back to life in the musical stage version, this strenuous undertaking was obviously made in the hope that the global audience has an unending appetite for anything set in Neverland. Just as P.J. Hogan’s similarly grandiose and ambitious Peter Pan surprisingly flopped in 2003, this one may also be headed for a low-altitude flight.”

Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
“‘Pan’ is, for the most part, ugly to look at, shrill to listen to, and performed by actors who have been encouraged to camp it up madly in the style usually favored by aging British sitcom stars playing storybook characters in Christmas panto productions. Even worse, it’s a prequel-slash-origin story, which means plot-wise, the compass can only point in one direction.”

Sarah Ward, Screen Daily
“Despite the controversy surrounding her casting, Mara acquits herself as the fiercely determined Tiger Lily, though the character has a mixed impact. There, she reflects the fate of ‘Pan’ itself: deftly made and diverting for young audiences but unlikely to linger, with any vibrancy tempered by the familiarity of the tune.”

Robbie Collin, The Telegraph
“Occasionally things get a little overcrowded, particularly during a sticky final act, but Pan has a certain timeless buoyancy that keeps it bouncing back. It’s a tale full of trapdoors, hidden switches and secret passageways, where flashbacks are told through animated wood carvings, and fairy dust is buried in its bedrock. The phrase ‘an eight-year-old could have thought of it’ sounds like it should be an insult. But it isn’t here.”

READ MORE: Joe Wright Retrofits ‘Pan’ for the Harry Potter Generation

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