Blu-ray Review: Pan

PanBluRay1STUDIO: Warner | DIRECTOR: Joe Wright | CAST: Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Levi Miller, Amanda Seyfried
RELEASE DATE: 12/22/15 | PRICE: DVD $$28.98, Blu-ray 3D Combo $44.95, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $35.99
BONUSES: director’s commentary, featurettes
SPECS: PG | 111 min. | Family adventure fantasy | 2.39:1 widescreen | Dolby TrueHD 7.1/Dolby Digital 5.1 | English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio  | Video  | Overall

The Peter Pan origin story Pan wins points for imagination and stunning visuals, although it doesn’t quite come together.

Hugh Jackman is Blackbeard in Pan

Hugh Jackman is Blackbeard in Pan

Beginning in London during the Blitz, we meet an orphan named Peter (13-year-old newcomer Levi Miller), who, even though he doesn’t know it yet, has a great destiny ahead of him.  Kidnapped one night by the minions of Blackbeard the Pirate—a resplendent Hugh Jackman (Chappie) —and whisked off to Neverland, he joins the ranks of thousands of other orphaned boys and men pressed into involuntary service in Neverland’s fairy-dust mines.  There he befriends one James Hook—Garrett Hedlund (Country Strong) doing his best Han Solo impression—and the two orchestrate a daring escape.  They hook up with a tribe of Neverland’s indigenous people, led by the warrior princess Tiger Lily.  (It would be a difficult feat for any actress to keep from being overshadowed by Tiger Lily’s amazing Technicolor dream wardrobe, but The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo‘s Rooney Mara pulls off the feat admirably.)  Peter plays a crucial role in helping Hook and Tiger Lily overthrow Blackbeard, and becomes the Pan—Neverland’s greatest warrior—in the process.  He and Hook return to London to rescue the rest of the boys from Peter’s orphanage, and sail off into the moonlit night sky, swearing each other eternal friendship.

Presumably intended to be the first in a series, Pan didn’t soar at the box office during its wide domestic release, nor did it fly above the inherent clunkiness of its exposition-heavy origin-story requirements.  But director Joe Wright (Hanna) brings true whimsy and wonder to his visual imaginings—let’s give a shout-out to the detailed, vividly realized work of cinematographers John Mathieson and and frequent Wright collaborator Seamus McGarvey—so perhaps a sequel could still be in the offing.  Think happy thoughts.


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About Gwen

Gwen Cooper is a movie and TV lover and the author of Homer's Odyssey (no, not the one you're thinking of).