Based on characters from J.M. Barrie's classic tale, director Joe Wright's (Anna Karenina) new adventure puts a different spin on the Peter Pan we know and love. The story, written by Jason Fuchs, gives us a look into the boy's origins.
Peter's mother leaves her baby boy on the doorstep of a London orphanage during the Blitz. When the boy is twelve (played by talented Levi Miller), he and his friends are snatched up out of their beds by Pirates, who sweep down on bungee chords. Like a Cirque du Soleil act, they grab the kidnapped boys and whisk them off to a waiting flying ship with Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman , wearing garish makeup, outlandish wig and frilly black costume, he's almost unrecognizable) at the helm.
Blackbeard uses his captors as slaves to dig in the mines on an Island controlled by him and his henchmen. They're ordered to find nuggets of fairy dust and if you disobey the pirate, you have to walk the plank. Peter makes a friend of Captain Hook (Garrett Hedlund), who is nice in this version - hint of a future sequel promises an encounter with a hungry crock, that will no doubt change his demeanor.
Hook and Peter escape from the Island, and they meet up with Tiger Lily ( played by Rooney Mara), and after she and her tribe capture the pair, she also joins up with them against the evil Blackbeard. The three get involved in a fight between Hook and a kung fu expert on some sort of trampoline, a chase between two ships sailing over ice and through the sky (these ships hardly ever actually touch water) and sword fights with Blackbeard.
Other than Peter trying to believe he can "fly", there's little connection to the story we have grown up with. The names are the same, but the characters bear little resemblance to the originals. The film is part western, part fantasy, and some of the visuals are great, but unfortunately it is devoid of pure fun.