I Won’t Be Panning “Peter Pan”

The 2003 Peter Pan is pretty good, except for the boringly routine fight scenes.  P. J. Hogan‘s film version of the 1904 British play (very old) captures much of playwright Barrie’s sophistication and all of his high spirits.  It concentrates on Wendy Darling’s youthful affection for Peter Pan and is aware of Peter’s inability to love, albeit he does know how to grieve for a dead or dying Tinkerbell. . . It dazzles the eye and, almost as much, enchants the mind.

Jeremy Sumpter (Peter) is one of those child actors who, to borrow another critic’s truthful phrase, merely follow the director’s orders, nothing more.  Not so Rachel Hurd-Wood as Wendy:  she’s spontaneous and unmannered.  In a double role—that of Mr. Darling and that of Captain Hook—the versatile Jason Isaacs is thoroughly engaging, while Lynn Redgrave never sounds a false note as the Darling children’s aunt.

 

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