J.M. Barrie must be turning over in his grave with fury. This boring, overproduced, ugly, incoherent waste of $80 million is Steven Spielberg’s pretentious attempt to tell us all what happened to Peter Pan . . .
He grew up to be Robin Williams, a middle-aged lawyer from the Ivan Boesky school of ruthlessness who has a fear of flying.
On a trip to London to visit Granny Wendy (Maggie Smith in latex) his own kids are kidnapped by Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) and you can imagine the surprise when – in revelations that are never too clear – this stuffy, bloated, and overweight slug (it doesn’t look like padding) discovers he is really Peter Pan and the only way to save the children is to travel back in time to Never-Never Land.
Julia Roberts, woefully miscast as Tinker Bell, instructs him to pass the second star on the right (everything sounds like a song cue) and he wakes up on a pirate ship that looks like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, falls off the mast, gets French-kissed by mermaids in Day-Glo and Dynel wigs, and ends up in a food fight with the Lost Boys throwing what appears to be lizard vomit.
Never has a children’s classic been so bastardised.
The cacophonous John Williams music crushes whatever charm the story warrants, the special effects are cheesy, the colour processing gummy, and the acting is embarrassingly awful.
Dustin Hoffman has a few moments of hammy scenery-chewing glee, but there’s nothing to relish from Robin Williams.
Clumping heavily about with his hairy body shaved, he looks like a boiled pork butt.
Captain James Hook
Peter Banning/Peter Pan