Hook ★★★½

I never saw this film as a child, so is it surprising that I actually did enjoy this film? In many ways Hook is just a cliche and run of the mill 90s family movie but the lavish production design, very good casting for the adult roles, and the interesting concept made this an enjoyable movie for me, though I can understand not liking this film. I definitely wouldn't call this a misunderstood masterpiece or anything like that.

My main issue with the film actually comes with the execution of its finale. The running time was surprisingly not an issue for me and the movie is paced well for being so long, but so much of the film is building up to that showdown with Captain Hook and the pirates but the climactic battle is really underwhelming. Even for a kid's movie I thought it was really bad when on paper it could have been tense and interesting and tie the loose threads of the movie together. Instead, the final fight is just flat and Spielberg doesn't mine the dramatic potential of a swordfight.

There are some moments in the film that suggest some greater thematic potential, but ironically the film is quite content to play in the kid's area and let these moments pass. On some level I can respect wanting to make a children's movie but I think the story behind the film was interesting enough that it could have made for a better film had Hook not been so infantilized to the degree with which it is. Still, Hook is charming enough, though no misunderstood masterwork.

Erik [Auk] liked this review