Guys, I really wanted to give this a fair chance, but sadly it seems to be proving me right.
Joe Wright gave us Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, and one of my favorite pieces of cinematography porn, Anna Karenina. Now he apparently does Studio-Movie-By-Numbers ‘epics’ which will score major intellectualism points because British accents are involved. What’s the point behind such made-up origin stories anyway (apart from the obvious $)? Okay, you want to tell a story differently so that it doesn’t seem overdone, but this one looks absurd. Blackbeard’s getup involves one of the worst wigs ever seen on the screen, in fact the whole look seems too garish. Jackman’s the biggest name in the cast but since the film is called Pan not Blackbeard, the publicity needs to hinge more on young Levi Miller, not the movie’s big bad.It’s been months of ‘Hugh Jackman Shaves Head’ all over the internet as if that alone merits an award of some kind. And when did Hook become a young Indiana Jones? Are we that desperate to market a heartthrob? And by the way, the whole him and Peter being BFFs is not the least bit plausible.
And now a paragraph on the issue I cannot shut up about: Tiger Lily. Yes, despite generations worth of controversy, Wright and Warner Brothers chose to highlight the existence of the cringe-inducingly named Piccaninny Tribe. Casting Rooney Mara alone was a faux pas but based on this first look, they clearly thought they were doing things ‘differently’. Let’s not dress them in earthy tones with a solitary feather around their heads, let’s turn them into exotic parrots! The colorful feathers and Fruit Loops-flavored makeup do nothing to resuscitate a stereotypical image,if anything they perpetuate a new, even more cartoonish one. Here’s to another 100 plus years of indoctrinated racism!
I’m most likely giving this one a miss, but it’s not like there’s much good to miss out on. Like most studio blockbusters today, this one has a glaring lack of shelf life. I just hope Joe Wright returns to the good stuff again.