Peter Pan

While closer to the book than any previous effort, this Pan still misses out on much of what makes Peter Pan the novel one of the high points of 20th-century literature. Infused with heaping doses of extra sexuality, director P.J. Hogan’s version plays up the relationship between Wendy (the full-lipped Rachel Hurd-Wood) and Peter (the bare-nippled Jeremy Sumpter). It also doesn’t neglect the oddly sexual feelings that Wendy has for her gorgeous mother (the gorgeous and maternal Olivia Williams) nor the ambivalence she feels towards her stern father (Jason Isaacs, who, Freudians take note, also plays Peter’s arch-nemesis Captain Hook). And it’s not lacking in beautiful cinematography or well-shot action sequences. Still, somehow it fails to delight, maybe because Peter Pan the book is a commentary on action stories, and this movie tries to be an action story. Or maybe it just needs a little more fairy dust to allow it to fly.

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