The pressure is on for our dearest Netflix, who over the past few weeks has scrambled to supply us with plenty of stay-at-home entertainment options in these unprecedented times.
While trawling through a backlog of films and series, what should pop up? Only Steven Spielberg’s 1991 movie Hook, no less. With a star-studded cast of the late Robin Williams as an acutely middle-aged Peter Pan, Dustin Hoffman as the eponymous Captain Hook, and Julia Roberts as the dainty yet fiery Tinkerbell, the re-watch will surely be a trip down memory lane for some of us.
Is Netflix Scraping the Barrel with ‘Hook’?
Available in the UK and the US, the swashbuckling-caricaturesque-live-action-spin-off of the 1953 Disney classic is sure to ignite some memories in its viewers. Just as Peter must revisit Neverland in order to tackle his old nemesis, viewers can revisit early 90’s cinema in all its gaudy glory. Granted, the movie was awfully received at the time of release and rates an abysmal 28% on Rotten Tomatoes, but maybe we can look back fondly and with fresh humor at the eclectic melting-pot that is Hook.
Seriously, it’s probably worth re-watching purely for the scene where Williams has a slanging match with a young boy — shouting names at each other such as “maggot burger” and “near-sighted gynecologist” — ending with Williams roaring “EAT ME” at his juvenile opponent. This is also a movie where Maggie Smith plays Wendy (now a Grandmother, of course), Dustin Hoffman kidnaps children, and Robin Williams remembers how to fly.
It Might Just Lighten the Mood if You’re Feeling Less Than 100%
There are plenty of binge-worthy series on Netflix at the moment to keep your eyes wide and your minds open during imposed self-isolation periods. They include the usual onslaught of true crime, mysteries, docu-dramas, and the classics. Competing with cult classics such as Pulp Fiction, Monty Python, Goodfellas, Jaws and Groundhog Day, does Hook really hold its weight?
In short, no.
But (and there is a but), perhaps it changes things now that Robin Williams will never star in another movie, epic or… less epic. Like art, movies are worth more when their creators (or in this case, actors) are deceased. With only a finite number of Robin Williams movies available today, we can extract a teeny bit more Robin fandom from Hook, no matter how questionable the screenplay.
‘Hook’ Tries To Be Many Things And Sometimes Succeeds
Dripping with sweetness (it is a kids film, after all) but edged with darker humor intended to appeal to its older audiences, the movie is a toxic concoction of fun and mortal wickedness.
An unforgettable character is Bob Hoskins’ rendition of Smee, who is the epitome of a sniveling ultra-loyal servant. Clutching on to a dramatically wigged and questionably mustached Hook throughout the 1h 42mins, the dynamic between the two raises quite a few questions!
So, Shall I Watch it?
Re-watching children’s movies as a wisened adult is usually a twee experience steeped in nostalgia and sprinkled with a deeper understanding. Yes, there were definitely bits you didn’t get as a kid, that you so get now. On that basis, it could be fun.
To be honest, as far as an action-packed, star-studded, (quite) funny, PG-Rated ’90s movies go, it’s not so bad. If you’re looking for expert character-development and complex plot lines, this movie clearly isn’t for you. However, if a rather comically angry and raucous Dustin Hoffman fraternizing with an appropriately racially diverse set of Lost Boys, an aging Pan dressed not unlike a Shakespearean player and a riotous pixie in the form of Julia Roberts is your thing, then this is for you.
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