sleepy’s review published on Letterboxd:
Nostalgia is powerful, and Hook is one of the best testaments to that. I think this film undeniably has some magic to it, but it's one where if you start using your brain too much it's stupid, but also if you stop using your brain too much it becomes an excess of unbearable schmaltz.
The first act is pretty solid. It's an interesting premise and seeds for a potential moving story are planted with Peter having to realise that growing up doesn't mean losing your youthful soul. When it gets to Neverland it's fun, but it becomes something of a spectacle first, story second.
This movie feels like it was filmed at a theme park. The sets are impressive, but designed in such a way that it feels like one of those theme park theatrical performances a lot of the time. Especially come the end where Robin Williams is attached to wires and floating about. There's no cohesion to Neverland, it's like they choose between one of three sets to put any scene in. Though the theme park world vibe makes sense for The Lost Boy's den, it's how kids would want to live.
There's a fun adventure vibe but it's undercut by lame family drama. Also a lot of mediocre kid acting. Robin Williams is an ideal lead for this, can't imagine many others doing better in this role and Bob Hoskins is a scene stealer as Smee. It's funny they manage to make Dustin Hoffman look tall in this, he must've been standing on a box for most of the filming.
Parts of the ending here are puzzling. So Captain Hook killed the crocodile and it's been taxidermized, but then it falls onto him and devours him (???) but he's a dead taxidermized crocodile with no insides (???) how can it devour Captain Hook (???) there's even a burp sound effect (???????). This is why you can't use your brain too much. BUT WAIT also at the end when Peter awakens in the real world Smee is there, but Peter doesn't recognise him, so like ok, maybe he forgot a lot of Neverland specifics BUT then Tinkerbell is right there??? Also why is Smee in the real world sweeping rubbish up? Wouldn't he go to a pub or something. Why's he keeping tabs on Peter? What's up with this scene? Is it sequel fodder? I'm losing my mind!
Despite its bloated-ness and lack of a particularly effective follow through on its simple message, Hook has a fun energy to it. It's one of these massive '90s productions that's in way over its head and has crazy Hollywood blockbuster energy (see also: Waterworld), but not quite enough at its core. The bells and whistles are great, but strip them away and it's a bit of a confused mess of a Peter Pan sequel. I still like it though ;3
Also Rufio fucking dies but because it's a kids movie they brush it aside very quickly and then nobody cares at all like WHAT. Wasn't he essentially the new Peter Pan for like 30 years? RIP my man.