Hook (1991)

Hook (1991)
  • Time: 144 min
  • Genre: Adventure | Comedy | Family
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Cast: Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts


Peter Pan (Williams) has grown up to be a cut-throat merger and acquisitions lawyer, and is married to Wendy’s granddaughter. Captain Hook (Hoffman) kidnaps his children, and Peter returns to Never Land with Tinkerbell (Roberts). With the help of her and the Lost Boys, he must remember how to be Peter Pan again in order to save his children by battling with Captain Hook once again.

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  • The ability to make sequels to famous movies have been done but have proven to be quite a time consuming task. Even if the end result is lukewarm like Tron: Legacy (2010) or beyond expectation like Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), the amount of investment put into these types of cases take much longer to bring to fruition than your typical Hollywood cranked out “every other year” sequel. Unless the producers have a strategically laid out plan that goes beyond a couple years like Marvel Studios, the wait for how long it would take to make such a follow-up is unpredictable. The Terminator (1984) sequel came 7 years later while the Tron (1982) sequel arrived 28 years later, so it’s hard to say. Take Walt Disney’s Peter Pan (1953) animated feature. An actual animated sequel wasn’t made until 49 years later but only on home video. Yes, it is a sequel but surely not something the studio probably put several decades into.

    Taking this live-action sequel into account is a whole different ball of wax. Unlike most sequels, this continuation of Peter Pan takes place several years after the events of Peter Pan (1953). Here viewers will see an older civilized Peter Pan (Robin Williams) during the modern day, married to the granddaughter of Wendy (Maggie Smith) from the original Disney classic. It is here that Pan and family travels to see Wendy in the same house the original took place in. Unbeknownst to them, Capt. James Hook (Dustin Hoffman) returns from Neverland and captures Pan’s children Jack (Charlie Korsmo) and Maggie (Amber Scott), thus forcing Pan to return to a place he once forgotten. Directed by Steven Spielberg along with writing by Malia Scotch Marmo and James V. Hart, this sequel has its moments that don’t all add up but it does have several fun parts as well. The best element to the writing are the characters and its overall message to its audience. Every actor that is shown on screen plays their roles well and even match the same attitude and tone of the 1953 animated feature.

    The actor who looked like he had the most fun was Dustin Hoffman who had numerous scenes that were quite comical. Hook still has a fear of clocks because of that pesky crocodile, we all remember that. Complimenting Hook is his partner Smee (Bob Hoskins) who sounds a lot like Jason Statham in this role. Nonetheless, Hoskins has a number of comical moments as well. The biggest subplot is the relationship between Pan and Jack. Charlie Korsmo best known for playing “the kid” in Dick Tracy (1990) is able to act in his role with more dialog this time. For Robin Williams, it is the transformation of his character of what he currently is back to what he once was. For that, the main idea is that no matter how old you get, it’s important to never fully grow up and to live a little. For that reason alone, watching the transition of Peter Pan finding his old self is worth the watch. Plus like every Robin Williams performance, there’s a bit of humor for everyone. There’s also a bit of surprise casting, which include cameos from Jimmy Buffett, Tony Burton, Glenn Close and a couple others.

    What doesn’t work in the movie’s screenplay are its pacing at which scenes move, unexplained continuity and minor subplots. The running time to this movie is 2 hours and 20 minutes – approximately clocking in as your typical Michael Bay time (minus the explosions) and after everything is said and done, it feels as if some cutting could have been made. There are some scenes where for example when Peter Pan reunites with the lost boys, feels drawn out for too long a time. Mind you this is just meeting them not working with them. For continuity, it’s not bad in all places like the homages made to the original but when it comes to knowledge some things don’t make sense. Do characters that live in Neverland really have the power of the “all seeing eye”? Or do they just carry a magic crystal ball with them wherever they go? In some ways they seem more omnipotent that usual. Even a main character asks this question and no clear answer is given.

    The other issue is a minor subplot dealing with Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts) and Peter Pan. I’m pretty sure it was noticeable in the original that their was some kind of romantic tension between Tink and any other female that wanted to spend time with Pan, but there’s one scene where Tinkerbell just comes straight out and kisses Pan and its never addressed again. Okay,…weird. Anything else used in the film however was well made. The special/practical effects for 1991 look well meshed with the live-action and cinematography. Dean Cundey who was director of photography got nice looking landscape shots along with beautiful matte paintings, which look great. As for music, legendary John Williams composed the score. Although the main theme is not as highly memorable as his Superman (1978), Star Wars (1977) or Jurassic Park (1993) motifs, the music is still lively and entertaining. There is one track though that takes place at a baseball field and it sounds like it belongs to The Peanuts. Odd.

    For 2 and a half-hour movie, it certainly feels like there was unnecessary padding. That and it has continuity issues and an unfinished subplot. However, other than that the actors perform well, the music sounds good, the cinematography is in large scale and the main message of never growing up is always something to keep in mind.

    Points Earned –> 6:10

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