Hook ★★★★

Watched with my kids and even though I saw this in cinemas when I was 14, this is the first time I’ve really enjoyed the film. Even running through Williams’ films after his death years ago, I was impatient watching this and had issues with its story. But now, accepting the narrative and its structure, I can see what it’s getting at a lot clearer. Spielberg is looking at the Peter Pan mythology from the other way around – what if Pan not only grew up, but did so in our world and completely forgot about who he really was? And it fleshes out this premise as well as you could expect.
I will admit with Williams’ involvement you expect a certain amount of comedy, but that’s not for this film, despite Williams being amusing in places. This is a more dramatic film for him than comedic. Particularly the film’s best sequence, where he finally begins to remember his real history.
I wasn’t sure if my kids would enjoy the film, but they did, so Spielberg has managed to make a family film for both kids and grown-ups to enjoy. The sets, costumes and score all contribute to the illusion of Neverland. I still get the feeling this could be better, but I don’t think this is something Spielberg should be beating himself up over (as indicated in recent interviews). There could have been better jokes and the action could have been more impressive, but in terms of the emotional core of the film, and the drama, he completely nailed it.

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