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Peter Pan & Wendy

Peter Pan & Wendy

André returns to Neverland in Disney's new Peter Pan remake...

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Disney's Peter Pan was one of the most significant movies for me as a child. Its mysterious opening, its magical presentation and its magnificent music were one of many launching points for this future movie lover and to this day I hold it in the highest regard. Now that the 1953 classic is yet another victim of the Disney remake factory, it's once again time to decide whether this is a case of vandalized culture or an improved work? Neither, it turns out. It's not impressive, but it's also not the unmitigated disaster you'd expect after, say, the horrible reinterpretation of Pinocchio. I actually don't mind seeing different versions of J.M. Barrie's tales, and there are some good moments in David Lowery's new version.

There is a spectacular final act that actually caught my interest and Daniel Hart's music is wonderfully adventurous. However, the children in the household will most likely lose interest in the dull colors and strange twists and turns taken by the story. The adults, on the other hand, are sure to be intrigued by some new elements that make the plot a bit richer: here, the filmmakers take some inspiration from the darker corners of the story and play with theories that, interestingly, make Peter Pan look a bit more like a potential antagonist in the story. The devious Captain Hook is even given a sob story to make him more sympathetic, but these backstories also make the story less playful and more uneven in tone than the original. The crocodile scene is a good example of this.

Peter Pan & Wendy

Jude Law does his best to give his evil captain a little more dimension, but it's pretty lackluster acting overall. Alexander Molony is unfortunately extremely pale and dry as our new Peter Pan and Yara Shahidi is very anonymous as the otherwise one-note little Tinkerbell. Oddly enough, Ever Anderson provides the fierceness in the role of Wendy. The filmmakers have taken the character further away from the maternal role to make her more mischievous like the boys, making her more of an active sword-wielding heroine, but also making her a more scattered character. She simply lacks the wit of the original and the interactions between her and Pan are flat at best.

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However, Peter Pan & Wendy manages to tell its own version of the fears and benefits of growing up, even if it is more watered down than the 1953 film. It feels like David Lowery actually had something more to say with his bedtime story than the rest of Disney's breathless remake catalog, and there are some watchable moments that try to break away from Disney's animated film. It's just that it doesn't quite go all the way as it lacks more of its own fairy dust. Well, at least it's not the worst Peter Pan interpretation out there. Right, 2015's Pan?

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05 Gamereactor UK
5 / 10
+
Adventurous, but also lacks some fairy dust...
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