Film Review – Peter Pan and Wendy (2022)

films, reviews

Rating: 3 out of 5.

One of the stops on my recent holiday was Moat Brae house in Dumfries. Between 1873 and 1878, author J M Barrie lived in the city and was a frequent visitor to the house. He even suggested that the gardens helped inspire him to create Neverland. In 2019, the house was turned into a museum and it’s absolutely amazing. It left me with a desire to read Barrie’s book again. It also gave me the perfect excuse to watch the latest Disney live-action remake.

It didn’t exactly raise my hopes that Peter Pan & Wendy was released straight to Disney+. Not really a show of good faith, is it? However, it looked pretty fun. I’ve grown more fond of Jude Law over the years so was interested to see what he would do as Captain Hook. I also liked the fact that the Lost Boys were no longer boys. Really, out of all of the recent remakes, Peter Pan feels like one that could be quite timely.

And this film does try to do something a little different. I know that the book has been adapted countless times before but this film doesn’t just tread the familiar path. That’s all thanks to David Lowery, the arthouse director who made The Green Knight. In this film, he doesn’t go too far off the beaten track and tries to hit all of the familiar beats. Still, it looks great and there’s a definite attempt to add depth. You get the sense that this could have been great had Disney not been in control.

In the end, Peter Pan and Wendy is an enjoyable enough film but it was clearly playing it safe. There are some great moments and I think Jude Law is a pretty great Captain Hook. I even enjoyed the attempt to explain the grumpy pirate and give background to his relationship with Peter. It didn’t quite work but it’s interesting. I admit that a lot of the fun is lacking. Lowery triumphs at the emotional and melancholic elements. He doesn’t seem too interested in the adventure. Probably why the Lost Boys are relegated to set pieces.

Ultimately, Peter Pan & Wendy isn’t a great Peter Pan film. At least if you just want a colourful children’s adventure. Personally, I enjoyed it. At least I enjoyed it more than the majority of these remakes. For one thing, it absolutely nails the emotional beats of the story. The ending is lovely. Had this been made by a different company and marketed differently, Peter Pan & Wendy could have been really well received. In the hands of Disney, it will be forgotten as another underwhelming remake.

8 thoughts on “Film Review – Peter Pan and Wendy (2022)

  1. Interesting. I do wonder how many times there can be remakes of the same film. There must be some forgotten children’s books or even new books that could make great films for all the family to enjoy. Okay, so Peter Pan has all the wonderful elements. The boy who never grew up, people can fly, Captain Hook and his crew, fairies, etc. so it’s an easy choice.


    1. Yeah, it’s interesting that some stories are just adapted again and again. Are they remade because they are popular or are they popular because they’re constantly remade. I guess Peter Pan will always appeal because he’s such a fun character and is well balanced with Wendy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Disney thinks they are powerful enough to skip cinema’s altogether. 2 years ago I might have agreed, but it seems like people are rediscovering cinemas. it also doesn’t help that streamers are getting greedy as all get out and EVERYBODY is trying to cash in.

    Liked by 1 person

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