And when I say “dark,” I’m not talking about the screenplay or the script. I mean that the movie is so damn dark, you can’t even see what’s going on for most of the movie’s runtime.
Disney’s latest updated live-action, politically-corrected remake, is everything the 1953 original isn’t: dark, dull, and would be the perfect film to show on a loop in Dismaland.
The filmmakers’ first attempt to modernize the story is evident in the title itself, half-assed and backhanded as it is. Frankly, this is Wendy’s movie, so why not just name it Wendy, or Wendy Darling: Pirate Slayer, even? She does way more ass-kicking than Peter Pan does; in fact, PP, Wendy’s brothers, and the Lost Boys (updated to include girls, of course) are all mere background players to the awesomeness that is Wendy.
Peter even gets himself killed by Captain Hook, that’s how lame he is. (Worry not, Tiger Lily shows up and smears some magical pesto on his chest and he gasps back to “life.”) Peter, or more accurately, the actor playing him, is so bland and worthless, the movie doesn’t just grind to a halt whenever he’s front and center, it goes in reverse. If this was the original Peter Pan, there’s no way he would have ever ended up on jars of peanut butter. Peter was always an immature jerky kinda guy, heck, that was part of his charm. But in this film, he’s also boring. And borderline psychopathic. I mean, if you don’t want to stay in Neverland forever and be his friend, he might just cut your hand off and feed it to a crocodile. As one does.
Actually, the movie is indeed dark in other ways besides visually; there’s little to no fun to be had during the adventures in Neverland, which looks less like a whimsical paradise and more like an uninhabited part of the British Isles. Cpt. Hook eventually catches up to the Darlings, but no matter; Wendy and co. are quite capable of taking on an entire ship full of pirates.
Oh yeah, just like the movie almost did, I forgot about Tinker Bell. Yeah. She’s in this, too.
This is a “retelling” we certainly didn’t ask for, or need. If you don’t have quick access to Hook, go and watch the original from seventy years ago; just fast-forward through “What Made The Red Man Red” and the other racist stuff, you’ll be fine. Zero out of five stars.