Pan is the unnecessary, yet welcomed, origin story of Peter Pan (Levi Miller). The film starts in World War II. Peter is an orphan, causing mischief with the nuns whose job it is to look after him. One night, not long after a bombing, Peter and a bunch of other orphans are snatched up from the orphanage, taken aboard a pirate ship and flown to the magical land of Neverland. Peter's thrown into the mines, mining away with the thousands of other miners, including a young, not yet evil Hook (Garrett Hedlund). The two hatch a plan to escape from Blackbeard's (Hugh Jackman) mine and out into the surrounding forrest. It's here they meet Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara), who helps them on their quest to find Peter's mother and save a bunch of fairies from Blackbeard's pirate army, who are also on the hunt for Peter and co. It's quite the adventure.
Director Joe Wright, the man responsible for the latest adaptations of Anna Karenina and Atonement, brings so much energy to every scene. Whether it's Peter breaking into a nun's office or a bunch of pirates raiding a tribal area, Wright makes everything feel alive. There's never a down moment. From his opening scene, which gave off some film noir vibes, all the way to the closing credits, Pan is expertly coloured, perfectly positioned and a tonne of fun. It's hard not to have a smile on your face the whole way through.
The film is just so ridiculous and random that it works. It verges on being too ridiculous and too uneven, yet it's executed masterfully so it ends up being neither It's 111 minute runtime flies on by, mostly thanks to the cast and director. The cast are all fantastic, first time actor Levi Miller having great chemistry with both Rooney Mara, who has proved herself to be one the greatest actresses working today, and Garrett Hedlund. All are fantastic. Then Cara Delevingne shows up for a few seconds before disappearing. I was very confused and slightly underwhelmed. But the scene had crocodiles so I'll let it pass.
Then there's the visual effects, which are really inconsistent. There's some great moments of true wonder, particularly the scenes involving flying pirate ships, and then there's some moments where you wonder what the hell went on in the editing room, specifically the scenes where characters fly. It's on the same level as Attack of the Clones, and we all know how well the visual effects in that movie hold up.....