First things first, I don’t think it was quite worth it seeing this in 3D. It just didn’t pop out as crisp and multi-dimensional as it could. That said, I still enjoyed it and think it’s worth a trip to the theatre to view it.
If you’re expecting the tale of Peter Pan (whether it’s the Disney version or the true tale), then you may not like it unless you’re open to a fresh take with a twist. The main story arc was using the ever popular ‘Chosen One’ trope. It was still an epic low fantasy, though Neverland was set into a dystopian world. Also, James Hook helped Peter find the tribe that would help him find his mother because apparently something his mother wrote in the letter she left with him when she set him on the stoop of a boys’ home made him think that she would be in Neverland. Well, he was right and she was actually a warrior from Neverland and his father was a fairy that took human form (but could only live for one day as a human before perishing away to nothing), and in that day Peter was conceived. It all just is a bit too much of a fairy tale for me. I was hoping to see Peter as more of a villain (like he is in the original tale of Peter Pan) than a hero, so I the film was a bit of a let down on that front.
About the tribe… the majority of them weren’t indians/natives like they are in the tale. They were warriors, sure, but why call them a tribe if they aren’t natives. Just a bit misleading. Also, Tiger Lily was white, not indian, and I didn’t like that one bit; it was completely out of character.
The villain: Black Beard. His motive was to use fairy dust as a way of living forever (just think of Lord Voldemort wanting the philosopher’s stone in the book one so that he could be immortal). He heisted people from London with a flying ship of pirates to bring back to Neverland to mine for fairy dust (pixies). In the end, Peter defeated Black Beard as he fell, with his ship, to his death in the hidden kingdom (where the fairies live in harmony in NeverWorld).
Peter goes back to London with Hook and Tiger Lily aboard an old, wrecked ship that Hook had got running again and named the Jolly Roger for the rest of the boys from the boys’ home he had lived in since he since he was a baby. It ends with the ship flying back to Neverland, “second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.”
It was an origin tale. I can see them making a sequel to tell the story of Peter taking Wendy Darling and her brothers to Neverland. I don’t know that they will, but I can see it happening just from where they left off. It would have to be a retelling of sorts from the Disney version since they painted Peter as a hero. I did like that Hook wasn’t yet a pirate, yet you could still tell that he was far from honest, while at the same time he still had Peter’s back at the end even after you thought he had left him and Tiger Lily hanging.
Overall rating: B-