Hook ★½

For the first half hour or so I was surprisingly on board. It's a strange funny premise, the idea that the bastion of childhood unrepressed id would then grow up to be one of the dullest stuffed-shirts of the adult real world. And the build-up to the introduction of Captain Hook -- from the kidnapping of the children, to the parents coming home to a wrecked house with hook scratches up and down the walls ,to the tiny window latch that looks like a hook, to the polishing of the hook itself in Neverland and the camera follows it all through the pirate town until we finally see the man himself -- is prime Spielberg visual storytelling.

But once we get to the name-calling contest (which Peter, btw, does not even come close to winning) and the food fight the movie becomes a tiresome drag. Plot points that have no reason being there (the Tinkerbell storyline is insane, creepy and boring all in equal measure) and a final battle that keeps going and going and going without ever being interesting (why does the egg bazooka crack the eggs before shooting them? why not just launch uncracked eggs?). And the underlying theme becomes increasingly sanctimonious the more Spielberg hits it on the head. Adults are wasting their life with adult stuff; they need to learn to appreciate the moments of childlike joy they are too busy adulting to notice.

Peter's wife Maura outright states at the beginning of the movie that parents only have a few years of their children wanting them and soon they'll spend the rest of their lives chasing their children's attention when they don't want to give it. And the movie never develops that simplistic and honestly kind of grossly wrong-headed belief into anything else. Just keeps repeating it over and over.

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