9pm Showing: Hook
September 8, 2011 § Leave a comment
You can argue the fact that the success and admiration of a film is completely relative and it purely comes down to time and it is certainly a generational thing. One generation’s Battlefield Earth, could be the next generation’s Casablanca. I think this all comes down to how a film is received on release, certain hidden gems may not have been given the appreciation it deserved first time round. I know critics and reviews don’t make our minds up for us, but they most definitely influence our decision to watch a certain film or not. Genuinely brilliant films may have suffered from a bad review or it may not have been understood at the time of its general release. I admit that this happens very rarely and you do indeed have to sieve through the shit to get to gold, but every once in a while, the critics will miss a trick and a film of astronomical brilliance would be destined for the bargain bin. In 1991, this happened and it really shouldn’t have and that film is Steven Spielberg’s Hook.
Hook was seen as bottom of the barrel Spielberg, that lacked imagination and failed to give anything new, fresh or urgent to the original Peter Pan story, critics couldn’t understand why Spielberg didn’t just decide to remake the original J.M Barrie story instead of creating this clumsy, mis-matched attempt that seemed to be stuck in a theme-park world and that it would take more than pixie dust to fly this overstuffed package into our dreams.
These people must have seen a different cut of the film or something, because the Hook, I have seen, know and love, is one of the most imaginative, exciting and heartfelt motion pictures I have ever seen. Spielberg continues to focus on subjects such as childhood, adulthood and loss of innocence that are indeed really important to him and he does have a clear and close personal attachment to this film and to all his films, and if there has to be only one Peter Pan, it is Steven Spielberg. Spielberg’s child-like innocence and vision creates a fabulous and brilliantly over the top version of Neverland, that injects new life into the well known story, from the height of a lost boy, telling the story through the eyes of a child. Hook is full of humour, theatrical performances, gloriously brilliant cast of lost boys and will make you cry as easy as it makes you laugh. Spectacular swashbukcling action through an even more spectacular set and you’re with them every step of the way and you too with fly, fight and crow. John Williams’ truly remarkable score is absolutely bangerang and it perfectly accentuates Spielberg’s emotions and you will never forget his brilliant overture that just dares you not to hum along and its makes you feel 5 years old again in a way that only John Williams can. This film is all about imagination, it calls on you to inhabit this wonderful world of a child’s imagination and as you dare to dream and be drawn into this motion picture of pure imagination, the images will be so thick you will have to wipe the food off your face and out off your eyes.
Hook was made for children, not for stuck up critics who grew up far too soon and have lost the ability to dream. As the generation of children who grew up with Hook, do indeed grow older, they will continue to admire and appreciate this film more and more. Much more than any grown up could ever do twenty years ago. Good form, Spielberg, good form.
Image courtesy of toutlecine.com