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The Greatest Movie of All Time: Hook

Once upon a time (in 1991), a fantastic movie by the name of Hook was released, and changed the world of film forever.

Okay, not really, but I liked it nonetheless.

The story line was fairly unique, as far as I know: after Wendy left Neverland, Peter followed her as well, grew up, and became a dad, and a lawyer. Years later, Hook finds him and steals his kids, forcing Peter back to Neverland, and back to the life he left behind and forgot about. Finally, he reconciles his two identities: Peter as the never-growing-up-carefree-leader of the Lost Boys, and Peter as a responsible adult in the real world.

Robin Williams was alright in the main role, but for me the star of the show was Dustin Hoffman (I guess you could argue that Dustin Hoffman had the main role, since the name of the movie is “Hook” not “Pan”). Bob Hoskins and Julia Roberts are no slouches themselves. And I can guarantee you, nobody has ever seen Dante Basco in *anything* without shouting, “Bangarang Rufio!”

The whole world of the Lost Boys captured my young imagination. An awesome tree house, an adventure every day, whatever they could ever want to eat, they could fly for christsake, and a cool nickname to boot (well, most of them were cool at least). Plus, they continually out-thought and out-fought the adult pirates. Kid power all the way!

The characters were multi-dimensional too. Coming to terms with growing up. Jealousy issues. Parental issues. And Hook is just a flat out mess. It’s one thing to be a kid forever, but what about being trapped as an old man forever? And an old man who has to suffer defeat at the hands of a bunch of kids over and over for all eternity no less! Heaven for the Lost Boys, but hell for Hook. I was kind of glad that he stole Pan’s kids and tried to turn them pirate: at least the evil old bastard finally had a plan that was relatively successful! (Excuse me for being on the side of the pirates here)

I watched this movie about a million times when it came out. I haven’t seen it recently, but word on the street is, it holds up. I’m sure I would enjoy it through sheer nostalgia factor alone.

Any specific Hook memories?

5 responses

  1. I’m more of a “Ru-Fi-O, Ru-Fi-O” chanter than a “Banarang” but I love this movie, too. I actually really enjoyed the more recent (relatively) Peter Pan with Jason Isaacs in the Hook role. The extras were good as well, mostly because Isaacs is remarkably charming despite the fact that I’ve only ever seen him in villainous roles.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:49 pm

  2. Barb

    Hook, in the battle with Pan near the end (just before he disappears into the croc clock) saying “I have fallen” and Ben saying in the theater, “And I can’t get up.” One of our favorites, and Ben and I watched it many afternoons while Sara and Anna were at school. (I was glad to replace Bambi with Hook.)

    November 23, 2011 at 9:29 pm

  3. abbyo

    Nice! Thanks for the link–much appreciated :)

    November 25, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    • It’s the least I could do, I stole your images. :)

      November 25, 2011 at 9:39 pm

  4. Oo, many good Hook memories. My favorite is the first time Peter returns to the room where it all began: he gets a weird magical feeling as he approaches the bay window, and the music swells, and he looks up at the painting above the window which is of pirates and storms and battles with the Lost Boys, and we hear the sounds of crashing waves, ringing bells, clashing steel, crying seabirds…and we are closer then to Neverland than at any other point in the movie, I think.

    The movie’s not perfect and has its share of issues. I actually don’t like Julia Roberts as Tink at all — she phones in a performance that just feels weird, not in keeping with the fairy tale world of Neverland. She’s too modern, too sarcastic, not nearly bubbly or enthusiastic enough. Part of it may be that I think Tink should always be voiceless, but I just don’t think her performance works very well. Robin Williams I like better, though he feels more at home as Peter Banning than as Peter Pan (though being the Wonderful Boy allows him to do more comedy). The swordplay choreography is weak and uninspired, and even as a kid I quickly got tired with the weapons of the Lost Boys: chicken eggs, colored water, and marbles defeat steel swords and guns? As fun as the final battle is overall, it did seem a little too goofy at the end. Especially since we saw the Lost Boys practicing with swords earlier (and teaching Peter to use one).

    But these are ultimately minor issues to a movie that is just a ton of fun. You’re right — Dustin Hoffman steals the show. He’s brilliant, as is Bob Hoskins. Kids can be exasperating even when you love them — imagine being constantly humiliated by a bunch of pre-teens who you loathe! The movie does bring out some of that layer to the story.

    As an end note, I also really love the 2003 version. I think it’s highly underrated. Jason Isaacs is great, but also every other element of that movie is just about perfect.

    November 25, 2011 at 9:43 pm

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