The career of David Lowery fascinates me. On the one hand, he can do impressionistic work like Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, hypnotic art house fare like A Ghost Story, and a bizarre fantasy like The Green Knight. Then, he can turn around and exude warmth not just with The Old Man and the Gun, but with a Disney remake in Pete’s Dragon. Now, he’s at it again with Peter Pan & Wendy. Now, I can’t quite figure out why Lowery wants to do these family films, but he’s doing them well, so one can’t really complain.
Peter Pan & Wendy is, in some ways, the most anonymous work of Lowery’s career, but it still looks good, flows well, and tells its story effectively. In a way, by doing such wildly creative work previously, it sets you up to wonder if he’s found a way to adapt the classic literary tale in such a way that the movie will be a whole new take. Well, he hasn’t, but his take is still to just do the story well, and that’s not nothing.
This is the story you’re well aware of, so I’ll just breeze through this. Wendy Darling (Ever Anderson), along with her brothers John (Joshua Pickering) and Michael (Jacobi Jupe) find themselves visited on the night before Wendy is to go to boarding school, by the character of Peter Pan (Alexander Molony), alongside Tinker Bell (Yara Shahidi). Peter refuses to grow up, and with Wendy wanting to put off adulthood just a little longer, it isn’t long until he’s whisked them off to Never Never Land. There, an adventure begins.
Once in Never Never Land, the Darlings are split up, with the boys running afoul of Captain Hook (Jude Law). They also meet the Lost Boys (including Alyssa Wapanatâhk‘s Tiger Lily), setting up an adventure of a lifetime, one that offers danger, fun, and some real valuable lessons. You know this story all too well, but it’s executed in a slightly different way than usual.
The performances here are fine, though no one really leaves too much of an impression. It’s more about spectacle than acting in the movie. Ever Anderson is a solid Wendy, though Alexander Molony is a somewhat bland Peter. As for Jude Law? He’s having a bit of fun as Hook, but arguably he should be having more. Yara Shahidi is fine as Tinker Bell, but somewhat under-utilized. Supporting players include Jim Gaffigan, Molly Parker, Alan Tudyk, and more.
Filmmaker David Lowery, co-writing with Toby Halbrooks, honors the source material. Peter Pan & Wendy doesn’t change up the story much, but there’s a visual sheen to it that’s undeniably lovely. Lowery allows some of his more indie fancies to seep in, but compared to something like Wendy, it still plays things down the middle, even if you can squint and see the Terrence Malick influences. It’s never overt though, making for a nice little flick that goes down easy.
Peter Pan & Wendy isn’t an especially necessary new version of the classic, but it’s executed well enough that you likely won’t mind. Especially for families looking for something new to watch, this offers up something reasonably compelling for everyone. No one is going to be blown away, but no one is likely to be disappointed, either. While I’m eager for Lowery to get back to more challenging material, he also has a light touch with Disney that serves both parties very well. So, if these are projects he wants to periodically return to, count me in.
[…] アワードレーダーのジョーイ・マギッドソンは、この映画の印象的ではないが攻撃的でないエッジは、主に古典的なディズニー映画の再起動としての地位に由来し、ロウリーのタッチが着陸を維持するために必要な余分なエッジを与えている. […]
[…] Awards Radar‘s Joey Magidson noted that the film’s unimpressive yet inoffensive edge mostly stems from its status as a classic Disney film reboot, with Lowery’s touch giving it that extra edge it needed to stick the landing. […]