Jacob Martin (formally known as The Movie King)’s review published on Letterboxd:
YouTube review of Hook... www.youtube.com/watch?v=-suB_zXzJdo
Hook has a 28% on Rotten Tomatoes.
I honestly don't get the backlash for this movie!
Even Spielberg, if you ask him about his spiritual Peter Pan sequel, will tell you that he didn't like being a part of it and shoots himself in the foot for its apparent missteps.
Honestly, I don't get it. This movie's not bad at all.
In fact, I appreciate the heart and charm of the movie more and more each time I watch it.
I think the overall premise of a Peter Pan who actually did grow up and forgot about his roots was a brilliant premise, mixed with the multilayered portrayal of Captain Hook with a mid-life crisis with suicidal tendencies because of his boredom in a life without Peter Pan. All of this results in that Spielberg magic with whimsical wonder, a criminally underrated John Williams score, and remarkable visual effects for the time (Spielberg even hates the limited practical effects; I think the look of Neverland and the sets and matte paintings are stunning).
Mix that with great casting and you've got an entertaining movie filled with charm and wonder. Robin Williams is perfect casting as Peter Pan and I loved his transition from workaholic family man Peter Banning to the child at heart Peter Pan, as Williams' childlike charm as an actor definitely came through in this performance. Also love Bob Hoskins as Smee, Dante Basko as Rufio, the head of the Lost Boys, and ESPECIALLY Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, who honestly steals the entire movie because of his brilliant blend of being both funny and threatening at the same time.
I guess as far as the negative critic score is concerned, many of the them thought the movie was too sappy and Spielberg took his schmaltzy cheese too far. Personally, I thought Always was the film that did that for me and the schmaltz works better with the sequel continuation of Peter Pan and it never took me out of the movie. What I didn't enjoy about Hook, however, was some occasional slow pacing, some noticeable plot holes which did take me out of the movie (mainly during Pan's backstory), and I thought Julia Roberts as Tinker Bell was a major miscast.
Yeah, not a fan of her characterization, which felt more like a fan fiction at times...
Thankfully, despite the critics trashing this film back in 1991, the kids who grew up with this movie had fond memories enjoying this movie, and when they grew up, it gained a massive cult following and appreciation for Hook has grown over time. While I didn't see Hook as a young child (too biased on the Disney film to care about seeing other version), I do see why many love this movie as it was a great reinvention of the Peter Pan story with a brilliant premise seeing a character who never wanted to grow up actually grow up, and despite some narrative missteps at times, is an entertaining watch which combines the magic of Spielberg into this literary classic.
NEXT UP FOR SPIELBERG... Jurassic Park