It's completely unfair that I've walked out of three movies in a row cheerfully satisfied. I'm going to start thinking I like movies, and then I'm bound for disappointment.
Disclaimer: I love Peter Pan. That is to say, I love J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan, and I walked into this movie with the sort of dread and trepidation that most of my friends brought to The Lord of the Rings.
And from the opening screen--"All children grow up. Except one."--to the point where a low, slow ticking is heard from the upper left hand corner of the theatre, I couldn't stop smiling.
When the ticking started is when I stopped smiling and started to chuckle low in my throat. Oh, it's sweet to see this done well.
There are silly bits, and playful bits, and I think I caught one very short Froud homage, and the pacing seems a bit off here and there.
But this is Peter Pan. For one thing, it remembers what is to me the most important fact about the book: the choice that lies behind the story of Peter Pan is that you cannot have everything you want. You have to choose the hill you wanna die on. And it doesn't matter what hill that is: there is no right or wrong answer. Only the answer that is right for you.
Jeremy Sumpter, the young actor playing Peter Pan, is rawly sensual, fey, wicked, and charismatic. Utterly Peter. The chemistry between him and Wendy is positively electric. And oh, his smile. Rachel Hurd-Wood is gorgeously spunky and wise as Wendy: she reminds me of itty bitty baby Jennifer Connelly in Labyrinth with the sweetness and the fierce.
And Jason Isaacs. I cannot say enough about Jason Isaacs. Except, Jason Isaacs in Regency pirate duds. Huminah. *g* He's perfect as Hook and as Mr. Darling. Hook is sympathetic, complex, obsessed, fascinated, dark, bright, manipulative, shining--and so obviously the dark half of Peter Pan that the movie doesn't even have to resort to storytelling tricks to point it out.
I'm still grinning. How often do you walk out of a movie based on one of your favourite books just shimmering with fairy-dust?