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  • Right, I can understand that Spielberg's previous achievements had set the bar really high, but by no means does this make 'Hook' a flop. The story is what is so appealing to a young audience and a mature audience for that matter. The sensitive undertones of such a celebrated story spark much joy and heartfelt moments. The 'what if' factor of the whole story is really adventurous, and the fact that this story stems from the original is brilliant. Its a story of love,family and identity. All three elements resonate with a lot of audiences. From a visual standpoint Spielberg triumphs again! And i don't understand why people beg to differ! For the purpose of entertaining young audiences, it fulfills the intention and more. I must say however, the film owes 50% of its credit to John Williams. His absolutely stunning score supports the story's tenderness. The flying sequence is so thrilling that it literally makes me get up and want to levitate!

    The performances are equally stunning and convincing, Robin Williams encompasses both his comedic and dramatic skills towards a full blooded performance. Dustin Hoffman and Bob Hoskins are superb....really really astonishing.

    This film has to be one of Spielberg's most overlooked and underrated films of all time. It holds so much promise and warmth that every time I sit back and soak up the high-flying adventure it sends shivers down my spine. I recently watched it after so many years of it lost in my memory that I felt like I had visited a historical landmark..its placed within a treasured set of memories on my part.

    I cant express how moving this film is, its just enthralling in every sense of the word..the construction of the story is very clever and realistic - from a child's point of view.

    Really guys hold the cynicism and unlock you imaginations and appreciate this work of cinematic art.
  • I, personally, cannot understand why so many people have left negative comments about this film. When it was released, many of us were young children and we all enjoyed it, but now that we are older, too many people are pointing out the bad jokes and mistakes and clichés that they have found. The point is, this is a children's film, and we didn't see those mistakes when we were children because it's designed that way. Even so, people fail to see deeper into certain aspects of the film. Peter Pan was meant to be 'the boy who never grew up', so to have a tale of his adult life and to show how he forgot Neverland is a special and unique take on the story, one that won't be forgotten.

    There have also been many complaints about the scene where Tink becomes human-size and expresses some kind of love for Peter. Although she is not a human per se, she can have human feelings, so why would she not love him? As the original story tells, she is often jealous of other womens' affections towards him, and this film just extrapolates on that theme a little.

    There have been comments about the 'father-who-is-so-busy-and-can't-go-to-the-game' cliché. Well, here's news for you. It's cliché because it happens all the time, and it's a truth! Some parents are just too busy to care. Lastly, too many people are moaning that Hook was too comical to be the bad guy. Well, this is a kids film and if he wasn't a little bit cheery-in-a-maniac sort of way, you'd have parents complaining that their kids were scared.

    The main thing about this film is that it is really good, but it IS designed for children, and adults who go back and watch it years later, then suddenly spot loads of mistakes are just ruining it for themselves and others.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Sometimes you have to accept that you are the minority. I didn't find Casino Royale to be the ultimate 007 movie and I didn't think Batman Begins was the ultimate Batman movie. I think the Star Wars prequels deserve more credit and what people so viciously hated about Jar-Jar I will just never understand. But it's OK. I accept that. In these cases it's simply just a matter of taste. You don't agree with me, I don't agree with you? It's not the end of the world.

    There are however other times when you feel that you have seen an entirely different movie than others have. And as some movies like 2001 or Blade Runner were torn apart or frowned upon when they first came, they have grown into classics later on. Why? My guess is misconceptions and pre-set expectations.

    Now, I can't stop anybody from hating Steven Spielberg's Hook if they want to. But I think it's appropriate to raise my voice a little, in talking about what kind of a movie it actually is.

    First of all, it's always been clear to me that Hook isn't that much of a story of Peter Pan as it is a story of Peter Banning or, if you want to get far fetched, perhaps Spielberg himself. Peter Banning has no respect and takes no interest in his children; thematically, this is defined by the way he consistently denies their world as REAL. By their world, I mean the world of a child, the world of games, stories, action and adventure. Be it baseball, school plays, drawings, bedtime storytelling or indoor games, Peter Banning does not comprehend this world as a very real world - but it is real to his children, it's actually their only real world, since the adult world leaves no place for them.

    Now, the movie is all about Peter Banning finding respect for his children and understanding their world as real. In the movie, he becomes forced to do this. At first he is hooked, if you will, by the very real notion that his children have been kidnapped. That naturally catches his attention, and naturally to him, nothing could be more frightening or real. His motivation here is to simply bring back his children, but as it turns out he will have to totally enter the children's play-world and play, accepting their world as real.

    To make it entirely clear that the children's world IS REAL, the movie literary crosses the line between fantasy and reality and Tinkerbell arrives to Peter Banning. The movie suggests that he not only will have to play that he is Peter Pan, he undoubtedly IS Peter Pan and cannot get away from it. He is hereby forced into play. This continues when he arrives at Neverneverland. Again, he cannot escape this world and in my mind this world is not so much JM Barrie's creation as it is a realm that essentially embodies child's play in general. It's like locking a bad parent into a playground, forcing him to spend time with the children in there. Because Neverneverland IS all play and fun. The lost boys PLAY that they are the lost boys, the pirates PLAY that they are pirates, Dustin Hoffman is obviously PLAYING that he is Captain Hook and as much as Peter Banning has to be forced into actually being Peter Pan in order to force him into taking it seriously, he eventually also PLAYS that he is Peter Pan. The theme of adults not seeing their children, or taking their world as real, is common in Spielberg's films. Remember Drew Barrymore in E.T, suggesting that maybe grown-ups can't see E.T and later on, Dee Wallace's mother is in the very same room as E.T but can't seem to notice him, since she is not interested in hearing any stories about men from the moon, that is to say she doesn't take it for real. There is a thematically identical scene in Hook where Peter is served the empty plates with food that he cannot see until he understands that the play is all for real. It's the scene that most people remember from the movie, even those who don't like it, and I don't think it's any coincidence.

    This theme about believing and seeing children's fantasy world as REAL, is sprinkled all through the movie in just about every scene from beginning to end. But to underline that this movie essentially is about a man who will have to take his kids seriously, and not so much a movie where Peter Pan actually goes back to Neverneverland, the movie's final sequences have Peter Banning waking up by a Peter Pan-like statue, suggesting that perhaps it was all just a drunken dream. Note that I am not saying it was, because the movie clearly states that the events have taken place within the reality of the movie, it's not a "it was all just a dream"-ending, but the scene clearly points out that it doesn't really matter if it was all make-believe nor not, because in the eyes of a child, make-believe is just as real as "the real world". Actually, the last line of the movie is "To live would be an awfully big adventure" so I think Spielberg is also suggesting that grown-ups too need to think of their life as something a little more romantic and adventurous.

    All in all, I think the movie has flaws and all, that's not what this comment is about, but I haven't seen these points anywhere so I figured I post my views. Hook is first and foremost not a "What if?"-story, and not a story of the adult Peter Pan. Yes it's what happens in the movie, but it's not what the movie is all about.

    Bangerang.
  • This movie is a continuation of the classic tale of the boy who wouldn't grow up, Peter Pan. Here, the infamous Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) kidnaps the children of Peter Banning (Robin Williams) and takes them to Neverland. Banning must regain his youthful spirit as Peter Pan and return to Neverland to reunite with his old gang, including Tinker Bell (Julia Roberts), and rescue his children.

    It's a pretty good story filled with unending adventures and spectacular sceneries of the magical Neverland what is filled with colorful characters, played by a group of fun-loving, bratty but loyal boys. Hoffman played Hook brilliantly, perfect for the part, as did Bob Hoskins in his Mr. Smee role. Comedic and quirky Williams was a good choice to play the grown-up Peter Pan; it was fun seeing his character looking bizarre and confused in Neverland, forgetting his roots and adventures with the Lost Boys in the magical place. And, Julia Roberts played a good Tinkerbell and she had some touching chemistry with Williams' character.

    Although it's not Disney, this movie does capture the magic and essence of the original animated classic Peter Pan from Disney. There are plenty of action and adventure to enjoy, but with some filler scenes that dragged the movie somewhat towards the middle. It's a nice one for the entire family, but I think it's better fit for the younger ones due to its juvenile and whimsical nature.

    Grade B-
  • I try to make it a point to watch this movie at least once a year, or when I feel myself getting too cynical. This is because if you are looking for fun movie that really does pull at the kid inside you, then this is definitely it.

    Robin Williams is just the right kind of goofy for my tastes, and makes an excellent Pan. Captain Hook was perfectly fit by Dustin Hoffman. I could have done without Julia Roberts as Tink. Actually, I can do without Julia Roberts all together. But Bob Hoskins made a great Smee. (I like to watch this and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, back-to-back) Anyways, I watch this movie once a year because the message of the movie, and the reason people watch it, warrants that. A movie where the message is to never lose sight of your inner child. Imagination. Belief in magical creatures. Sword fighting with pirates. All of these things that I'm sure you did as a child, as I did.

    As far as I'm concerned, all of the people who have written bad reviews for this movie, saying things like "The characters weren't believable", and "Spielberg tried to answer a question that didn't need an answer" have lost sight of the kid in themselves, have become pirates, and should have their hands fed to crocodiles. It's a movie. A family movie. One that needs to appeal to both children and adults, which is a difficult task, to be successful. And I believe that this movie succeeds at that very well.
  • bkoganbing17 April 2009
    Purportedly Steven Spielberg is not happy with the end product of Hook. I'm at a loss to know why because I think it's an absolutely charming fantasy, using his own peculiar take on the Peter Pan story and extending it.

    Robin Williams as Peter Banning is a hard driving lawyer with a wife and two children Caroline Goodall, Charlie Korsmo and Amber Scott respectively. He was an orphan kid who married the granddaughter of Wendy Darling who was Sir James M. Barrie's inspiration for the Peter Pan tale.

    But it's all real, Robin Williams doesn't know he's Peter Pan who left Never Never Land for reasons you'll discover in the film. But he left one nasty enemy there in Captain Hook and Hook captures his children to lure him back to Never Never Land where Hook can take vengeance upon him.

    Spielberg got some great performances out of his cast which also includes Julia Roberts as the elfin Tinkerbell and Maggie Smith as the aged Wendy. But stealing the film completely in one bravura performance is Dustin Hoffman.

    Captain Hook is one of those fabulous roles where the actor can just feast on the scenery and can just go to town with it. It's a role that it is impossible to overact in. I doubt if Dustin Hoffman ever enjoyed himself more in making a film.

    Hook got five Oscar nominations in the technical categories, but sad to say did not win anything in 1991. I'm surprised that one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator films beat Hook out for Best Visual Effects, this one is clearly superior in that department if anything.

    Robin Williams has his innings as well, trying to remember his past as Peter Pan and get back into Pan like behavior to defeat Captain Hook. As to why he left Never Never Land in the first place. Let's just say he took one too many trips outside his domain and something happened to him that happens to all young men at some point.

    Hook is a great piece of family entertainment from Steven Spielberg and Dustin Hoffman's fans will really enjoy it.
  • Back in 1994 when I was 10 this was a favourite of mine, I even had all the action figures. As I got older I never really thought much of it until the other day when I decided to watch it just for the hell of it. Now as an older person with more understanding all I can say is that this is one of the most amazing films ever. There were points in the film where I even started weeping and getting emotional.

    Hook tells a great story about A grumpy lawyer named Peter Banning who takes life too serious who has forgotten about his childhood as Peter Pan. Captain Hook kidnaps his children and takes them to Neverland to lure him in for one last battle, the only chance he has of saving them is to remember his forgotten past as Peter Pan and do battle with Captain Hook. The film is a huge reminder that I should always keep in touch with my inner child and never let go.

    Acting wise Robin Williams brings his A game as does Dustin Hoffman, Bob Hoskins and the rest, Julia Roberts is in it too but she's nothing to write home about.

    If you've never seen it then you should watch it, whether your a child or adult it doesn't matter, the film is one of the best adventure tales ever. If you've not seen it for a long time then re-watch it because like me it is a great reminder of how I was back when I was 10 and even helped me find my less cynical side.

    10/10
  • This is a fantastic classic movie of a classic fairy tale.

    The sets are amazing (none of this green screen crap!)

    The acting is fantastic. Dustin Hoffman, Maggie Smith, Robin Williams, and Charlie Korsmo do an especially good job.

    The adaptation is written very well. Instead of the boy who can't grow up, it's the man who's forgotten how to have fun, and be in the moment, like a child.

    The IMDb rating is way off. How the hell does Pitch Perfect, and rubbish like that do better? How? Because either this site is full of morons with no taste, or the world is, or more likely both...

    All negativeness aside, this is a great movie, if you haven't scene it, you're missing out.
  • I was 10 years old when I first saw this movie (and I was born in 1993), and it was one of my favorites. The 90's had a lot of very great movies, and I had to watch movies when I reached an age where I'd understand them. At 10 years old, I began to watch movie after movie to catch up to my older sister. Hook has many talented actors in it, and the plot was very good. The action scenes were very well done, the pirates were incredibly detailed in their clothes, and the whole island brought me back to the world of wonder that is Never Never Land. The Disney movie of it was what led me to watch this one, and because I watched the Disney one, it made me love this one even more. Sure, there are some of you who say it could have been better, and in some ways, I do agree, but for what they had to work with, I say it was a spectacular adventure.
  • I'm not one of the people fortunate enough to catch this in the theaters. I am, however, one of the people who loudly objects to the negative critical response to this film.

    Peter Pan growing up is a wonderfully refreshing concept and saying "it adds nothing to the Peter Pan mythos" confuses me to no end. The beautiful practical sets would never have come to pass in an age where Spielberg and Lucas have gone crazy with the CGI and accusing them of being cartoony is rather superfluous seeing as Peter Pan's not exactly known for its realism. The actors all turn in decent performances, the best being Robin William's uptight Peter Banning and childlike Peter Pan, Dustin Hoffman's deliciously evil Captain Hook, and Bob Hoskins. Nothing to say about Bob Hoskins; if he's on screen, he's giving it his all.

    I deduct points from the film do to the third act with the war, not because the Lost Boys use incredibly implausible weapons to fight the pirates but because Peter stops being savvy about Hook, there's a rather unnecessary dark moment during an otherwise cartoony climax, and about a half dozen inconsistencies appear in the span of five minutes. But, other than that, Hook is a brilliant film and its "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes is simply a travesty, for not only is it a heartfelt Spielberg experience, but when the movie wants to be funny, it's REALLY funny. Listen not to the critics unless they are Jim Sterling or Doug Walker, because this film is one of the best.
  • Hook is a spin off of the classic tale of Peter Pan, you ever wonder what life would have been like for Peter Pan if he had grown up? If he had kids, a wife, and a career as a lawyer? Not very much, but it happens here in Spielberg's tale of the boy who never wanted to grow up. Hook is a pretty good film, it was definitely very imaginative and creative story wise. The sets and actors were absolutely perfect for this film; did you know that Michael Jackson originally wanted to play the role of Peter? Pretty creepy, huh? But Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman were so great together, I really enjoyed their performances. But the only actress I questioned was Julia Roberts as Tink, I'm not so sure if she was the best choice for the role. But that's just me, while the story seemed to drag on a bit, it was actually pretty good.

    Peter is a bit of a grown up who just can't seem to have fun in life, he misses his son's baseball games, doesn't spend much time with the family, and is always focused on work. But when he and his wife visit England with their kids to see Wendy, the lady who raised Peter when he was an orphan, his kids are kidnapped by Captain James Hook who wants to challenge Peter, but when Tink takes Peter back to Neverland, he needs major convincing that he is Peter Pan and is given three days to do so to get back his children. The Lost Boys try their best to make Peter bang-or-aign once again with them and that he'll get his kids back while learning the importance of youth.

    Hook is over all a good film that I would recommend to people. It's not at all a bad film, it has good drama in it along with great comedy. Most people love the dinner scene between Peter and Rufio, mine is Captain Hook explaining to Peter's kids why parents don't love children. Dustin's delivery of "I want to potty, I want a cookie" was just so perfect and funny. This is a good family film that I think you'll like, it's just an honest film with a fun story.

    6/10
  • I saw this when i was 4 in theaters. My love for this movie has never died!! I still remember seeing Hook come out of his cabin for the first time and i was enthralled. A great cast and memorable soundtrack by John Williams. One of my favorite Robin Williams movies by far :)
  • I will make this review simple: I was born in 1987. I love this movie. If you are near me in age, you probably do too. I dont really know how to explain it, but some people know exactly why this film is so popular with the middle-millenial.

    BANGARANG!
  • Hook is another childhood favorite that still holds up well today. It runs a little long and there are some missteps (e.g. Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell), but it really does appeal to the child in me. And watching it as an adult has given me a whole new perspective on Peter Banning - including his shortcomings, fears and joys as a father. Plus, who doesn't love the imaginary banquet scene? This is a fun movie.
  • All of you that are leaving comments are probably old farts that didn't grow up with this movie. This movie is a awesome fairy tale. It is a classic and probably my most favorite movie of all time. Very creative storyline. Its about Peter Pan forgetting his past and saving his kids. Robin Williams did a incredible job in this movie. I saw people dressed up as Rufio at every year at college parties. this movie was made 17 years ago and its considered a classic. I've never meet anyone that doesn't like it. So if you haven't seen it then go watch it! It has everyone one from the cartoon, like Wendy, peter pan, hook, the lost boys, tinker bell. And a new character Rufio!!!
  • as is typical of reviews of most films at IMDb, 20% or so find films reviewed here as being bad.

    Hook is no different. I never tire of seeing this film. Sure Spielberg gives us his take on the story and the "what ifs" abound, and there are imperfections. so what else is new about film-making?

    do you see any films on this website that got a 10? NO!

    no one film will EVER please everyone who watched it. so what's the point of giving your opinion? it obviously won't change the film. your opinion warns others to "stay away" from this film. "don't waste your time" blah blah blah.

    point of my diatribe? take the wonderful parts and acting and visuals and music and whatever aspects of the film you like, and ENJOY THEM.

    there are wonderful bits and pieces of Hook, and whole scenes, and the notion that people can change and try to make life better for those they may have hurt, and so on.

    this film, if you have a heart, and some of you don't, speaks to that heart and moves it and makes you thankful for those in your life who really do need you.

    am i a sentimentalist? so what if I am! get over it. and get a life.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    When I first came to IMDb to look up this movie, I was very surprised at all the negative criticism and backlash that it had generated. I had watched the movie when it came out and found it very pleasant and enjoyable and, re-watching it again just recently, I still found it a very good movie

    The movie's strong points to me are the scenery and design, the storyline, the music and the quality of acting by most of the cast. These factors combined ensure that the movie for the most part lives up to its potential and remains intriguing, gripping and heartwarming throughout. It has all the hallmarks of a successful Spielberg production and the movie is all the more better for it

    Robin Williams's performance as Peter Pan/Peter Banning is very good in both his roles as a professional businessman too busy for his children andas the reincarnation of Peter Pan later on in the movie. I do understand where many critics are coming from when they say that he has a propensity to go over the top in his acting during some parts of themovie but he's good at portraying both a serious and funny side and I think that makes him the perfect choice for this role. Dustin Hoffman and Bob Smee are both delightful in their roles as the evil villains and Maggie Smith does a great job as Wendy.

    There are some points on which I agree with the critics. Julia Roberts was a horrible choice to play Tinkerbell. I found her annoying from the start and she failed to give the character the charm and depth that it needed to succeed. The Lost Boys were terrible -they came across as bratty, overindulged hoodlums rather than young, innocent, mischievous children and it was quite impossible to feel any empathy with or them -they were good actors but badly written characters

    Nevertheless, despite these flaws, this is still a worthwhile and enjoyable movie that I think young children will enjoy.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The pieces were in place for Hook to be a Kubrick-esque, once-in-a-lifetime film. The myth of Peter Pan, an all-star cast, world class director Steven Spielberg at the helm, and an utterly fascinating concept promised a unique and haunting modern fairytale. Unfortunately, this potential was not realized. Instead, Spielberg plays it safe. Hook is a competent, at times rousing family adventure, but one can't help but think what might have been.

    The premise of Hook is a great one. An adult Peter Pan, played by Robin Williams, has become a typical yuppie businessman, abandoning his days of adventuring for the hustle and bustle of modern day America. On a trip to London to visit Grandma Wendy, Peter's children are kidnapped by an old rival, Captain Hook. Peter is then compelled to return to Neverland; a Neverland that has moved on without him, to retrieve his children. This setup is pure gold. An adult Peter Pan returning to Neverland presents a number of potentially enthralling ideas about the nature of youth, childhood, and adult disenchantment. There's also a chance to explore the Peter Pan mythology in a serious, adult manner. However, while the first part of the film does have a slightly sinister edge, Spielberg and company abandon these potential themes in favor of a sugary sweet holiday romp. Once Robin Williams' Peter Pan arrives in Neverland, we don't see anything that we haven't seen before in countless other family films and Saturday morning cartoons. That's not to say that Spielberg mishandles the adventure. If you can look past the movie Spielberg didn't make, you'll find that what he has done is pretty entertaining.

    To start with, the cast is nothing less than superb. Robin Williams is the perfect man to play the boy who never grew up. He's natural as an inattentive father and delightfully charming as a man rediscovering his youth. When he's flying through the air, there is a magic in his eyes. It's something no other actor could pull off in quite the same way. On the other side, as Captain Hook, Dustin Hoffman makes a great camp villain for the film, even if he isn't totally committed to the role. The rest of the cast including Bob Hoskins as Hook's sniveling sidekick Smee, and Maggie Smith as Wendy are great fun to watch. Julie Roberts even has a cute role as Tinker Bell.

    The other saving grace of Hook is the production value. Hook is technically superlative, with detailed sets the size of city blocks, bold and colorful costumes, special effects that work convincingly, and a stirring John Williams score. There is a pleasant consistency to the production design in Hook. Every frame of the film feels of a piece. Hook is a watercolor storybook come to life. Credit Dean Cundey's wonderful soft focus cinematography for selling that illusion. The film can tend to take on a muted, reddish haze, but overall, Spielberg and company make the most of the film's budget. Hook is nothing if not nice to look at. It's full of visual splendor, even if it is not Steven Spielberg's most inventive work.

    Hook is lesser Spielberg. It has neither the emotional power nor the filmmaking prowess of Spielberg's best movies, but lesser Spielberg is still better than almost everything else. Hook is fun, charming, and visually attractive. Where Hook disappoints is in its safety. Spielberg takes no real chances with the fascinating premise, and that's a shame. Hook is not a haunting exploration of the human psyche set within the mythology of Peter Pan, and it could have been. What Hook is, is a very pleasant, wholesome bit of family entertainment. Steven Spielberg's confident direction and Robin Williams' twinkle-in-his-eye performance make Hook well worth your time, even for those expecting more from the concept.

    73/100
  • I enjoyed "Hook" a lot; Dustin Hoffman and Julia Roberts really stood out in this film.

    My only complaint is that there was too much silly playing between the lost boys and Peter in the middle of the film, and I feel that this became rather monotonous. I would have liked to see more interaction between Peter Pan and Captain Hook, and also more screen time for the Captain Hook character generally.

    Also, Neverland is supposed to have pirates and Indians in it, and there WERE a LOT of pirates. But I never once saw an Indian.

    Maggie Smith was a fine actress and it is always great to see her on screen.

    I thought that the end of the film, with the old man flying out of the house, was kind of nutty and really unnecessary, a la the all-too literal ending of "Cocoon", in which the senior citizens are shown flying away in an alien spaceship.

    My problems with this movie, though, are minor, and I generally consider this a very good fantasy film for kids and adults--at least those of us who never quite grew up--alike.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I absolutely love Hook. I can't find any part of this movie that I don't like. I don't understand the negative reviews. Yes, this is a kids movie.I'm 18 years old now and that would be prime age to hate a kids movie, yet I love it as much as I did as a youngster.

    This is a unique take on the Peter Pan story and it proposes an interesting question; What if Peter Pan grew up? From there the movie takes you on a great mystical adventure in Neverland of Peter Pan re-finding himself and his youthful spirit, remembering his past, and rescuing his kids from the sinister Captain Hook. It is a wonderful story.

    The casting of Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman was great. Bob Hoskins is perfect for the role of Hook's right hand man Smee. John Williams of course conducts a masterful score. The child actors play their part very well. Steven Spielberg made this movie people, I don't see why you need to compare this movie's success to say 'Jaws' or 'ET'. Because Spielberg makes many great movies I understand that he has set a standard for himself, but just because this movie wasn't groundbreaking doesn't make it bad. It is a great movie in my opinion.

    This is my favorite movie of all time. I give it 10/10 without any reservations.
  • andy-197810 April 2009
    Love the cast first of all. From Maggie Smith a goddess in my eyes to Dustin Hoffman and Robin William to a strange inclusion of Phil Collins. They all fit in well together so well. A magical story of Hook which take me into a wonderful fantasy land of what kids should dream about. This superb production should not be pulled down, for it is essentially a children's film but I love it. My kids thinks I am a big kid but I don't care. Julia Roberts as Tinks id Fab ! I am not the biggest fan of Robin Williams but I do like his portrayal of Peter Pan.

    A magical movie for the entire family.

    Granny included !!
  • Once upon a time, there was a well-known story we all grew up with in some way or form named "Peter Pan". It was about a boy who never grew up named Peter Pan who took three kids named Wendy, John, and Michael to a magical place called Never Land. Think of Never Land as the ultimate vacation place almost exclusively for kids. It's a place where mermaids and pirates roam the seas, kids can do battle with pirates and Indians on land or by sea, and any grand kids' adventure you could think of can easily be found. Peter Pan's allies on the land include a trouble making fairy named Tinker Bell and a group of uncivilized children known as the Lost Boys. With their assistance, Peter Pan defeats, but not kills, his most dangerous opponent Captain Hook. Then he returns the three kids back home to London and they all live happily ever after.

    Once upon a time, a film by renowned director Steven Spielberg titled "Hook" (1991) was created. It told the story of what happened if Peter Pan did grow up. And the story they came up with is as such. Peter Pan (Robin Williams), now named Peter Banning, is a successful lawyer who is having trouble connecting with his children due to constant broken promises and absences. The last straw comes when Peter is unable to attend his son's baseball game. The family goes to London to visit their grandmother Wendy Darling (Maggie Smith) to support the expansion of her orphanage. That night while the parents attend a ceremony for the orphanage, the kids are kidnapped with a note left behind by a "Captain Hook". When Wendy tells him that Peter is indeed the real Peter Pan, Peter is naturally in disbelief. Later that night, Tinker Bell (Julia Roberts) appears, knocks him unconscious, and takes him to Never Land.

    When he awakens, Peter discovers that his children are indeed under the captivity of Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) and that they will remain so until Peter accepts Hook's challenge to a duel. But seeing that grown-up Peter is completely out of shape in this world, Tinker Bell intervenes with Captain Hook and she is granted three days to prepare him for the duel. While Peter is being trained by Tinker Bell and the Lost Boys and regaining the erased memories of his childhood, Hook attempts turning Peter's own children against him so that they'll stay in Never Land permanently. Now I have to admit that the premise itself is actually pretty interesting. I know in my review of the TV series "Once Upon a Time" I've gone on record of saying that I'm not into revisions of well- known stories at all. But with said, I thought it was very smart to make Peter the exact opposite of what he used to be in his childhood: a busy father with little tolerance for childish behavior.

    It's especially smart in that this is the last person that you'd think was Peter Pan. If I were to summarize "Hook" in a nutshell, it would be that it has the settings and characters of "Peter Pan", but the story and moral of "Mary Poppins" in a way. Its moral being that embracing the playfulness of childhood when you're a parent is an important way to connect more with your kids, and also actually being there for your children. And while the moral isn't executed that strongly, its heart is in the right place. Robin Williams was well cast in this role with his switching back and forth between the strict father and the child-at- heart. Also inspired casting is Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook. Remember his evil laugh when he comes up with a plan to force Peter's kids to hate their dad? I'm sure I'm not the only one cracking up alongside Captain Hook. The best thing Hoffman does with his role is capture the hilarity and over-the-top nature of Captain Hook as depicted in the Disney picture without screwing it up.

    Lying within "Hook" however are some numerous and major plot holes. The most significant one of all is when Captain Hook fails to kill grown-up Peter Pan upon discovering he can't fly even though Hook swears he's going to kill him anyway. Now why would Hook let an opportunity such as this sneak through the cracks so easily? If he's doing it out of a moral code or rule that the citizens of Never Land use with their battles, an explanation regarding what it is was never given to us. I mean there's no way he'd be that generous with Peter by agreeing to Tinker Bell's offer in the first place. For that matter, why did Hook consider her trustworthy to keep such a promise? Isn't she supposed to be on the side of the Lost Boys as opposed to Never Land's #1 referee? This plot hole is made even larger in the film's climax which I won't reveal or talk about since it would ruin the experience for the few who haven't seen it yet. Bottom line: Captain Hook blew a great opportunity while his opponent was down.

    The subplot involving Hook trying to manipulate Peter's children into joining his crew is a very clever idea. It takes advantage of Peter's current status and hits him where it hurts the most. I'm split on the film's set designs since effort was clearly put into it and yet Captain Hook's ship never sails in the film. Not one time does it go off to sea and I have no idea why. Ultimately, "Hook" isn't the best project brought to us by Steven Spielberg. But give the film this much credit, it had some clever plot details weaved into the mix, the dilemma grown- up Peter undergoes is new, and Williams and Hoffman give it all they got. That's enough for me to consider "Hook" a guilty pleasure.
  • Some movies, like Steven Spielberg's "Hook" are so mind numbingly bad, you find yourself asking, "Why on Earth did they make this piece of junk?" The answer is simple. They're made so the next time your best friend comes up to you and says, "Boy, I just saw the worst movie ever!" You can say, "Oh yeah...have you seen "Hook?" All kidding aside this is a perfectly dreadful, awful film and a betrayal of everything James Barrie's "Peter Pan" is about. It is a "concept" film in the worst sense of the word. If Director Spielberg and his collaborators had simply taken the time to actually read the story, (now there's a concept) and understand some of it's most basic themes, they might have ditched the silly, "What if Peter Pan grew up?" concept and made a decent straightforward film of the book. Actually it was Spielberg who needed to grow up. If he had he would have realized Peter Pan would never grow up, and leave Never Land to have a family and a job. The very premise makes a travesty and mockery of Barrie. After all he did write, "All children grow up, except for one..." Spielberg with his yuppie sensibility, his "I want everything and more and I want it now!" mentality wants us to believe that we can always have Never Land and we can have it anytime we want. Like ordering a cheeseburger at McDonalds. And that's just what this dud is, a McDonald's cheeseburger, slapped together without thought or care and slickly packaged in a bright yellow wrapper. It is only when you take a bite that you realize there is no substance there. The poignancy of the Peter Pan story is that as adults we can NEVER return to Never Land. To paraphrase Barrie, "We may sometimes hear the waves breaking on its shores, but we can never return." It is this wistful sense of loss, the sad but necessary surrendering of innocence for the greater and ultimately more satisfying experience of life beyond childhood that gives the work it's enduring power. In the film this most essential theme is thrown out.

    Was there ever so much money thrown at a film to so little effect? Was there ever so much talent in front of the camera put to so little use? Dustin Hoffman, usually one of our finest actors is simply lost at sea as Hook. His attempt at a British accent is embarrassing, and worse as the Captain of the Jolly Roger he exudes all the danger and threat of a French poodle on steroids. Some actor should avoid costume roles at all cost and Hoffman is one of them. He simply hasn't got a clue. Robin Williams as Peter is beneath contempt. Has there ever been a performer in the history of cinema who wants so desperately to be liked, who works so hard for audience sympathy? Spielberg should have told him, "Robin, stop working so hard, the audience is already on your side!" With his mincing grimaces he reminds you of Jerry Lewis on a bad day. Bob Hoskins, another fine actor is totally wasted as Smee, while the less said about Julia Roberts as Tinker Bell the better, except perhaps that her performance is bad enough to make you not believe in fairies. Stanley Kubrick once ventured the opinion that the problem with many filmmakers attempting to adapt works of literature to the screen is they want to do so without fully understanding them first. While "Hook" is not a literal adaptation of "Peter Pan", it does clearly demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of the character and the work from which he is derived when everything that Peter stands for is sacrificed for the sake of a gimmicky "concept". Avoid this turkey and check out P.J. Hogan's recent version. Now that is Peter Pan in all his adolescent glory.
  • Imagine Nemo and The Little Mermaid years later out of the water and walking with legs? Imagine a re-make of Beauty and The Beast where the Beauty is an ugly old hag and the kind hearted beast slaps her around? How about Snow Black and the 7 Tall Basketball players? Or the Lone Ranger without his mask and shooting Copper Bullets? Cinderella instead of losing her glass slipper loses her wig? Imagine an episode of Harry Potter where he really has no magical powers but you find out he has only been using smoke and mirrors... Have you got those firmly in your minds? Now imagine the myth of a boy who NEVER grows up. He Lives in Neverland where no one grows up...and he is now grown up? Spielberg is lower than the pond slime where the Frog Prince lives for ever making this movie. Avoid it at all cost..
  • Speilberg may have been disappointed with this one, but I am not. A charming take off of the original Peter Pan. I saw the original with Mary Martin when I was 7 or 8 and found it intellectually challenging. That is what this story is supposed to do; start kids thinking about growing up and accepting responsibility. Here, Robin Williams plays Peter all grown up but still struggling with responsibility. He finds it by becoming young again. Terrific star-studded cast, with a script so witty most of the jokes will "fly" over the heads of children, and some adults too if you don't listen carefully.
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