Hook ★½

On the surface, Hook is your typical 90s family comedy. And with typical, I mean typical in the sense that you saw this type of comedy everywhere in the 1990s. It's about a yuppie-like (father) character who spends so much time at work that he forgets spending time with his kids and / or wife, but by the end of the film he has learned his lesson and decides to spend more time with his kids and / or wife, resulting in a happy ending. It's as cliched as you could imagine, and to this day it's a concept that's still used to death, but it was really popular in the 1990s. Flubber did this, and so did Jingle all the way, Jack Frost and Little Giants. North did something similar with the son character wishing he had different parents, and even that variation is present in Hook.

But ignore the fact that this is a cliched 90s family comedy, that Robin Williams isn't suited for the role of Peter Pan whatsoever, that the sets are obviously sets, that there are multiple bad child actors in the film, that Julia Roberts' Tinkerbell is almost completely pointless, that Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook is an overacting goofball, that the film is overly long; there's something really mean-spirited about Hook. Robin Williams' character isn't likeable to begin with; aside from the cliche I mentioned above, he shouts at his children and according to Captain Hook himself he "drinks too much". Geez. Knowing that Spielberg didn't have a great relationship with his father, this cliche / character seems all the more cynical. And by the end, the character has changed in a hyperactive manchild. There's also attempted suicide and humor that's just juvenile.

It's bad enough that Hook is so cliched, but it's also just really cynical. The fact that Spielberg directed doesn't make a difference whatsoever; honestly, anyone could've directed this. Yes, it does have the Spielberg traits like connecting with your inner-child and the prominent father figure, but both are so badly executed that it looked more like someone was poorly imitating Spielberg than it was Spielberg actually being behind the camera. That's what probably makes this one of the worst if not the weakest Spielberg film; it is so misguided. Hook is cynical, childish, cliched, too artificial, too long and just unpleasant in general.

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