My questions in bold. T’s answers below!
Well, I’ll spare you my “cynicism”. LOL And just say I don’t remember it as fondly, and perhaps I should give it another shot. I’ve only seen it once, I believe. When it first came out.”
I wasn’t only surprised that you had “cynicism” to “spare” me from, but also that you hadn’t seen it in 20 years. Perhaps your tastes have improved/changed.
5) Have you written about the movie yourself? (Insert plug here! LOL )
Oh yes. Several times, but perhaps the best post I have done about HOOK was the aforementioned post celebrating its 20th anniversary. I called it “Happy Hook Day!” and it includes some of my favorite clips, fun trivia tidbits and a behind-the-scenes featurette all about the making of Hook. See it HERE. An enjoyable movie that impressively transported this once-upon-a-time ten-year old kid to Neverland. When it comes to my love for this movie, I’ve never grown up. A great cast full of impressive performances (Dustin Hoffman, Bob Hoskins, Robin Williams…all of those Lost Boys) that is a lot of fun to watch at any age and at any time. Good Form!
Thanks T! My Review is below!
I’ve always been a huge Steven Spielberg fan (duh, right, who hasn’t?), so in 1991, when this movie first came out, I was really looking forward to it. Robin Williams? Dustin Hoffman? Peter Pan? Hell yeah! Plus, I was looking forward to something entertaining from Spielberg besides Indiana Jones sequels. In 1991, it had… been awhile. Aside from Indy movies, there had only been “Always”, “Empire of the Sun” and “The Color Purple” in an almost full decade preceding “Hook”, so I was anxious to see a return to form.
What I, and others, found though was a strange mix. Peter Pan as a workaholic jerk? What happened to the boy who never wanted to grow up? Today, we’re much more accustomed to the idea of a “new take” on a fairy tale. In the past year or so alone we’ve gotten “Jack the Giant Slayer”, “Snow White and the Hunstman”, and “Mirror, Mirror”, all of which differ substantively from the story we’re familiar with. Such a thing nowadays is commonplace. In 1991, however, the liberties they were taking with the tale of Peter Pan struck me as… odd. Goofy. I understand (and can appreciate better now) the themes that Spielberg wanted to express, especially the main one about keeping in touch with your “inner child” (something that must have been near and dear to his heart), but as a movie, I still think it comes across as inconsistent.
There’s a strange convergence of adult tone and kid’s tone in the story. I suspect that you need to actually BE an adult in order to fully appreciate the themes of holding on to your imagination and childhood spirit, but on the other hand, I think you have to be a child to fully give over to the action/adventure sequences here. We open with a workaholic Robin Williams glued to his cellphone, yelling at his kids, but by the end of the movie, it’s outright kiddie fare. The Lost Boy’s fort is a tree house with a skate park and a basketball hoop. A childish war of insults precedes the infamous food fight. The climactic battle of the film is fought with mirrors and eggs and gumballs. Again, I do understand the intent, but it’s almost as if the movie downshifts too hard into a movie for kids.
The characters were a bit of a mixed bag for me. Hoffman’s Hook is fantastic. Snide, formal, prim, vain, angry, depressed. With his wig and false teeth, he was quite entertaining. Several funny moments throughout the film, he’s a definite asset. Julia Roberts has some moments that made me wish the role had been differently cast, but she was alright. With so many children involved, you’re going to get child actor issues, that’s to be expected, but my biggest gripe was Robin Williams. Not that he was bad in any way, it was just that they really didn’t utilize him all that well. T was right, at that time, there was no one you could name that would have been more perfect as an adult Peter Pan. The problem is, the film spent 80% of its runtime with the emphasis on him as an adult and not as Peter Pan. By the time they get him in the green and have him fly, the movie is basically over.
“Hook” is definitely a good movie for kids when all is said and done. Seeing as it was released after that age had passed for me, though, as an adult I’ve always latched on to the issues as opposed to jumping into the fun. I suppose that’s more on me than the movie, but it is how it is.
It’s certainly not a “bad” movie, T, and as you point out, it’s nowhere near being worthy of a 29% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Fairly or not, this will be judged alongside and in comparison to Spielberg’s other works. That said, I can understand a lot of the criticisms. The tone is kind of mixed up, and a lot of the humor and action should bear a sign “You must be under this tall to ride this ride”. When all is said and done, even though it IS an entertaining movie, and I understand what Spielberg was trying to do, I can only go as high as a