Hook ★★

Hook is the childhood movie that somehow passed me by, I never saw it and perhaps if I had I might have more affection or nostalgia for this overstuffed turkey, an embarrassing low point in Steven Spielberg's otherwise consistently impressive career.

The narrative is perplexingly difficult to follow if you're unfamiliar with the Peter Pan story and at well over two hours long by the time the final act arrives any children watching will have long since tuned out. Overblown and heavy in exposition, any sense of wonder is quickly drained away as the very frames of the film itself stagnate before your eyes. Spielberg himself has admitted since its release that he had little confidence in the script going in other than the first and final acts, attempting to cover up any weaknesses with colourful, exuberant sets.

Unfortunately this only makes it look painfully dated, an experience akin to sitting through a sugar fuelled 90s kids birthday party with cake flying across the room whilst a cacophony of noise leaves you with a pounding headache. Not even a talented star cast of Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman can save the day, both give their best to their respective roles and Hoffman in particular is entertaining to watch as the scenery chewing Captain Hook, with a larger than life Bob Hoskins providing further comedic relief as his right hand (hook?) man, although considering the movie is eponymously named in his sake we get absolutely nothing in the way of character development or motive.

Spielberg succumbs heavily to his fascination with saccharine sentimentality and overwrought emotion, drawing out scenes to a painful length, whatever themes about childhood he wanted to explore are muddled and totally lost among the frivolous action and supreme silliness.

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