Hook ★★

What an odd little picture. Conceptually, even the premise is bizarre. So this story is set in a world where the fictional character Peter Pan, has left Never Neverland. He is now a grown up lawyer, with a wife and kids. He has forgotten his past.

When he arrived in our world, he allowed the girl he went on adventures with, Wendy, to act as his benefactor. She found him parents. Wendy's granddaughter is now Peter's wife. It is approaching incest, and sexual child abuse, but both of these are forgiven (or better yet "made romantic") by the fantasy element.

Captain Hook kidnaps Peter's kids, and Tinkerbell must bring Peter back to Neverland, and make him remember who he is, so that he can fight Hook and get his kids back.

Peter is played by Robin Williams. Hook is Dustin Hoffman. Tinkerbell is Julia Roberts. Williams is poorly miscast. He is not convincing as a work obsessed bad parent, nor a child-like, untamed, rascal. Roberts is darling in the surprisingly unsexualized Tinkerbell role, although she doesn't have a whole lot to do, and what they have her do doesn't make much sense.

For me, the standout performance is Hoffman as Hook. He seems to understand what the movie is, and what it needs of him. He is big, and mustache twirling. Because the plot is so simple yet bewildering, Hook doesn't impact the story like he probably should, but Hoffman is killing it as best he can.

The movie is downright ugly to look at. The color pallet is gross. It is browns and tans, mixed with bursts of Playdough primary color blotches. The quickest way to make a movie look dated is to show antiquated mobile phone technology, AND to make it look "hip and cool". I suppose skateboarding / basketball playing lost boys is another way to make a movie look dated.

I would like to complement the filmmakers for employing a diverse supporting cast (all the leads are white), but they aren't treated very well. Their characters are based on their physical attributes, the most egregious of which is a heavyset black kid whose weight is the butt od several jokes.

There are a lot of "hit in the dick" jokes in the film. I haven't thought about Robin Williams' dick so much in a long time. The movie is clearly made to appeal to children, with the humor and gags in the film, but the melodrama will not connect with them. This is a film for no one.

The sad thing here is that the interesting part of the story is underdeveloped. A man who needs to reconnect with his childhood in order to save his kids, can't do so because his kids ground him in reality.

There are so many muddled plot threads or subtexts. There is a good movie in here somewhere, but what was on screen was not that.

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