Hook is just one of those movies that seems to be universally loved. At least, for those of us young enough not to question Mork as the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up it is. This is just one of those movies that when it comes on TBS, you stop and watch, and for good reason too.
First, J.V. Hart just came up with an ingenious screenplay. Taking the Peter Pan story and asking the big “what if” question of Peter’s adulthood was good, but it’s the depth of thought he put into that makes it great. By making The Pan an emotionally constipated, imagination-free grown-up, Hart gets to play with the every character’s disappointment in Peter’s stuffy outlook on life. Wendy, Moira, Tink, and even Captain Hook are emotionally hurt by Pan’s transformation into what would have been his worst nightmare. It’s a wonderful angle because you are rooting to get Peter back, not just to fight Hook, (which is reason enough) but because everyone in the movie needs him to be more like the boy he was. He doesn’t need to fly just to get his kids out of that net, but for himself and all of Never Land (including of course, the Never Bugs)!
Another thing you just love about this movie is its ability to transcend its really bizarre casting. Now, honestly, who freaked out when they realized Dustin Hoffman played Hook? I know I did. I remember I was thirteen in middle school and it blew my mind. This was probably one of the strangest assemblages of actors ever and for an even stranger movie. Robin Williams as Peter Pan? Julia Roberts as Tinker Bell? What?! But because we were children when Hook came out, we didn’t bat an eyelash. Hell yes, Adrian Cronauer is having a food fight with twelve year olds! And the Pretty Woman has straight up fairy wings! There is nothing wrong with that to me. Our youth shielded us from the truly weird that this movie was, and thank God for that.
Finally, I just love how fully realized the world of Hook is. Being filmed pre-massive computer generated effects, the sets and costumes of this movie are beautiful. Want mermaids? Strap some plastic on an actress and throw her in a tank, thank you. Build all that Lost Boy armor that looks like it was made out of bamboo, coconuts, and spider webs. Do that. Make that. Make your audience want to live in that tree house apartment complex or walk along that pirate pier. It’s one of fantasy film’s most imaginative sets and it’s still impressive today because it created a complete world that you still want to get lost in.
Well, that’s my take on Hook. Yes, it’s a little strange, but it’s also freaking awesome. Over twenty years later (yeah), I still say, “Bangarang, Peter”!
- For my inner child, for Hook I have to say “The Force is strong with this one”
Don’t know what The Force has to do with Hook? Head over to RAMARS!! to get wise!