directed by Steven Spielberg
(Tristar, 1991)

When Steven Spielberg directs a movie, you anticipate its release. You know it will be one of the best movies of the year. You get excited and rush to the theatre. And you are not disappointed. At least that is how I thought things worked until I watched Hook. I have never been more disappointed with a movie. It was difficult to believe that Spielberg could have directed it.

The story was a good one, with a strong plot. A grown-up Peter Pan, known as Peter Banning (Robin Williams), is married and living in New York. He has lost all memories of his former life. Captain James S. Hook (Dustin Hoffman) kidnaps his two children, Jack (Charles Korsmo) and Maggie (Amber Scott), and demands that Peter Pan return to Neverland to fight him one last time.

That sure sounds exciting enough. It has plenty of potential. But Williams is sluggish and his lines seem forced throughout the movie. The scenery looks plastic and jumps from one environment to another with no cohesion. Nothing flows smoothly with this film.

Dustin Hoffman is satisfactory as Hook. His makeup job was outstanding, and he did a good job of portraying the evil, deceitful captain. Julia Roberts, on the other hand, is a pitiful Tinkerbell. She flits about drooling over Peter Pan, hoping he will remember his childhood and learn to fly. (Kirstie Alley would have been ideal for this role.)

The best performance in this movie is by Charlie Korsmo, who plays the neglected child who just wants his father's approval. He is totally credible in his role. Amber Scott also does a good job as the loving daughter who never gives up her faith in Daddy.

I would not advise anybody to see this movie. It is suitable for small children that just want to see Peter Pan fly. But for anyone old enough to follow the plot, it will be a disappointment. Spielberg has always done much better.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 26 April 2003

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