It had to happen. The story ofJ.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, directed by Steven Spielberg (who claims to be Hollywood’s Peter Pan), starring Robin Williams (whose kinetic persona is Peter Pan). On paper, it’s a studio’s dream; but in Hollywood these days, the only paper that counts is the dollar bill coming in at the box-office. By this definition, Hook has been a success, with the star names - Williams, Hoffman, Roberts - being enough to ensure young bums on seats; but the critics have given Spielberg a fair old lashing with the cat-o‘-nine-tails. Maybe if these critics understood the distinction between being childish and viewing with a child’s heart, they’d realise that young Steven has yet again delivered a fun-filled two and a quarter hours of top class, big screen treats.
To tell the truth, the film isn’t Spielberg’s re-telling of Barrie‘s play; it’s an updated sequel to the original story. Peter Banning (Williams) is a work-obsessed lawyer, with little time for his wife and kids, and no conception of the boy he once was — Peter Pan. On a family trip to his grandmother-in- law’s in London (a touching performance by Maggie Smith as the aged Wendy), his children are kidnapped by Captain James Hook (Dustin Hoffman), and so Banning must win them back by travelling with Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts) to
and what there is is fairly predictable — but that isn‘t the point. The director only uses it as the means to whisk the audience on a magical journey around pirate ships, lost islands, swordfights, piefights and midnight ﬂights over London. Sure. it’s formulaic; but Spielberg‘s ingredients are richer, more colourful, more wonderfully cinematic than anyone else's.
INDEX: 18 LISTINGS 22
While the splendour of the above is: : cinema villain who gives Alan
keeping the kids occupied, adults
19905 world that has lost its sense of fun, and where business deals take precedence over family meals. By the end, however, Williams has turned Peter‘s original tragedy of retaining his childhood but not being able to grow up and marry Wendy into a triumphant affirmation ofthe joys that fortysomething fatherhood can bring.
A sense of fun pervades all, from Hoffman's outrageous hamming — a
Hook: ‘a iun-iilledtwo and a quarter hours of top class, bi
we g screen treats'
technically impressive shots of Williams flying over the designer’s wet dream that is Neverland. Hook is a dessert ofa film — light and easily digestible, with a wonderfully sugary aftertaste. (Alan Morrison)
Hook (U) (Steven Spielberg, US, 1991) Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins. 135 mins. Glasgow: Cannon Clarkston Road, Cannon The Forge, Grosvenor. Edinburgh:
have time to reflect on the director‘s Rickman‘s SheriffofNottingham a more adult themes. Banning is only i run for his money on the one inhabitant in a materialistic g scene-stealing front — to the
Cannon. Fife: Cannon. Strathclyde: Cannon, Kelburne. All Odeons. All UCls.
Neverland and rediscovering his true identity. The story itself may not be much —
I i Dominion. CentralsAllanpark, l l
This risibletale oidesire and L v w
San Francisco psycho-analyst Isaac dupncny is typical or current
Barr (Richard Gore) is at the top oi his profession, respected by his peers. His 3 opinion is enough to alter the course oi many a court case, but when two enigmatic women walk into his lite, he linds himself on the verge oi losing everything. Diana Baylor (Uma Thurman) is a deeply disturbed person, traumatised by recurrent dreams involving violent murder and, to assist the good doctor in his treatment she suggests that he speak to her sister Heather (Kim Basinger), an alluring and attractive iigure with whom he's soon locked in a passionate, illicit alialr. However, when his lover’s husband, notorious underworld iigure Jimmy Evans (Eric Roberts) is found brutally killed, suspicion ialls on Barr
_ . and he's turned to use all his courage ,f < ' 1 and cunning to turn the tables on those , ’ FINAL ANALYSIS who would have him locked up. 2 , i- .. 1 l
l movlemakers’ iormulaic approach to , replicating the ‘Hitchcockian’ thriller, 1
but it takes more than just setting your f movie in San Francisco, whipping up a double-crossing plot, and throwing in lots oi tall buildings. Joanou would i love to be remaking Vertigo, but it’s all ! so totally signposted, so utterly dumb, ! the end result is more like Mel Brooks's l l I
High Anxiety. Final analysis? it’s a still. (Trevor Johnston)
Final Analysis (15) (Phil Joanou, US, I 1992) Richard Gere, Kim Basinger, l Uma Thurman, Eric Roberts. 125 mins. Glasgow: Salon. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr. All Cannons. All UCls.
Final Analyslsi ‘so totally signposted. so utterly dumb’
15 The List 10— 23 April 1992