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A high-flying adventure from the magic of Steven Spielberg, Hook stars Robin Williams as a grown-up Peter Pan and Dustin Hoffman as the infamous Captain Hook. Joining the fun is Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell, Bob Hoskins as the pirate Smee, and Maggie Smith as Granny Wendy Darling, who must convince the middle-aged lawyer, Peter Banning, that he was once the legendary Peter Pan. And so the adventure begins anew, with Peter off to Neverland to save his two children from Captain Hook. Along the way, he rediscovers the power of imagination, of friendship, and of magic. A classic tale updated for children of all ages, Hook was nominated for five 1991 Academy Awards(r) including best visual effects.
Steven Spielberg's deeply flawed but sporadically fun and moving update of the Peter Pan legend stars Robin Williams as the grown-up Pan, a corporate-takeover type who must embrace his old identity in order to save his kids from Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman). The stars put on a good show, including Hoffman's read of Hook's hysterical personality, Julia Roberts mini-turn as a tiny Tinker Bell, and Maggie Smith's touching performance as the aged Wendy. The visual contrast between the adult Pan's bustling outside world and the insulated fantasy of Neverland is striking, but Spielberg's ideas about the Lost Boys--politically correct in their ethnic diversity, energetic on skateboards--are contrived and cheapening. On the plus side, the story's theme about adults finding their innocence again through their children is very touching (though some people have found it cloying). If you can look beyond the glaring problems, there's plenty to like here. --Tom Keogh
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It is very exciting when Peter finally gets inspired and discovers that this enables him to fly, and he zooms through the air so convincingly I don't think CGI would have enhanced it at all. It was as neat to me as the E.T. flying bicycle. Captain Hook's portrayal by Dustin Hoffman is hilariously unctuous and fickle. He even stages a ball game to try to make Peter Pan's son identify with him, so that Peter will get jealous enough that he'll learn to fly again and duel Hook. Hook wants to be acclaimed for killing Peter Pan in an exciting fight, not while Peter is a wimpy lawyer who's afraid of heights, so he has to make Peter jealous enough to be motivated to fly again.
I get a kick out of the predictable orchestration of John Williams in his fast-paced Spielberg action scenes, but there are some neat melodies he uses which have originality. My favorite part of Williams's music is when Peter Pan has finally gotten reinspired and suddenly starts flying again, which takes place after a long and slow buildup, with the same power as when the maimed Toothless finally flies again on How to Train Your Dragon, about 2/3 through both movies. The way Peter Pan finally reconciles growing up with keeping his priorities right is very moving, and all the plot elements get tied up in the end to my satisfaction. The movie carried me along with its passion even though I am not that big a fan of the Peter Pan story. There's a lot of freshness and direction to the plot which made it as appealing to me as if I were a kid--and I didn't even see this as a kid.