Peter Pan Reviewby Jon Popick (jpopick AT sick-boy DOT com)
December 19th, 2003
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Last Christmas we were treated to a dark, sexually charged update of Nicholas Nickleby, and this year moviegoers return to Victorian England for a retelling of J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan. Oddly enough, both pictures were given a PG rating, while better family fare like Whale Rider are saddled with PG-13s merely for being created outside the standard Hollywood system.
Unlike Nickleby, there's no cross-dressing in Pan, as Jeremy Sumpter becomes the first young male actor to play the lead role in this story on the big screen. Pan does, however, conclude with a sexually charged swordfight which takes on new meaning under the tutelage of Aussie co-writer and director P.J. Hogan (and makes the name of Michael Jackson's ranch seem even more creepy than usual).
The drawing cards in Hogan's ominous and surprisingly erotic take are Donald McAlpine's breathtaking photography and the interaction between Peter and Wendy Darling (Rachel Hurd-Wood, who is destined to be confused with Evan Rachel Wood). For a while, I seriously thought they were going to do the deed right there in front of God, the Lost Boys, and everyone. You'd be hard-pressed to come up with a better on-screen kiss this year, which probably explains why Tinkerbell (Ludivine Sagnier, who spent the majority of Swimming Pool baring it all) would rather just kill Wendy. I sure don't remember that from the Disney version.
Hurd-Wood steals the show in a half-Kate Beckinsale/half-Ione Skye kind of way, even though she's probably going to end up looking like something closer to The Real World's Trishelle, who most likely would have banged Peter on the first date.
1:45 - PG for adventure action sequences and peril
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