Hook ★★★★½

One of those rare cinematic curiosities where you can tell instantly how old someone was when they first saw the film based upon their reaction to it today.

It goes like this: almost without exception, those who first saw Hook as an adult will—by virtue of being a horrible grown-up—completely and utterly loathe the film, detesting everything it represents about cinema today. They will deride Hook as bloated and indulgent; treacly Spielbergian sentimentality run amuck; and, worst of all—*gasp*—totally made-up, phooey, ridiculous make-believe kid nonsense. (Don't feel bad for them; that's just typical of grown-ups.)

Meanwhile, those of us who first saw Hook as kids... well, the truth of it is we can't help but adore the utter crap out of this film. It's in our DNA to love it; that's what happens when you wear out about a billion VHS copies of Hook as a kid, so of course we're going to have fond feelings for the film today. (As well as a deep-seated loathing of Dustin Hoffman for killing Rufio. RUFIO, YOU SHALL BE AVENGED!)

So, what's the moral of the story? Well, as with all good stories and films for children, there isn't any. Except maybe this: big, loud, bombastic food fights in Neverland... boy, they'll stick with you.

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