Hook (1991)

I’ve discovered in recent years that Hook is one of those films that, if you grew up with it, then you love it. However, if you did not, you may not be as fond of it. Personally, I have the word “Bangarang” tattooed on my arm, so that gives you an idea of where I stand.

John Williams’ score is the first thing I want to mention here. It’s hard to think of any other score that so perfectly fits the film that it’s in. This one does. It’s whimsical in parts. In other parts, the only way I can think of to describe it is “pirate”. Like, I hear the bit when Captain Hook is first introduced and I’m like “yep. That sounds like a pirate”. This score is one that I can listen to and it immediately brings back memories of the film.

The acting in this film is wonderful. I’d like to bring it to everybody’s attention that MAGGIE SMITH WAS ONLY 56 DURING THE FILMING OF HOOK AND SHE’S PLAYING A 92 YEAR OLD. THE MAKEUP DEPARTMENT WAS SO GOOD. Dustin Hoffman will forever be my favorite Captain James Hook and the late Robin Williams played Peter Pan with such simplicity. I know that Steven Spielberg’s thoughts on this film have been well documented over time, and that he wishes he would have allowed Williams more improvisation, but I think that there was just the right amount. His little off hand comments in this film crack me up. For example, “What if it’s the pilots time to go?” or “Nearsighted gynecologist”, which, in my opinion, is one of the greatest insults of all time. And an honorable mention for every single child actor that was in this film; they all did so wonderfully.

Dustin Hoffman and Bob Hoskins playing Captain Hook and Smee as an old married couple is one of the more genius things I have ever seen, honestly. The way they play off each other is hilarious. I would watch an entire film of just those two living their lives together on that pirate ship.

Now, my only problem with this film, my only irritation with it, is the whole “Tinkerbell is in love with Peter Pan” thing. Yeah, Tinkerbell is jealous in the original play. I mean, she tells the Lost Boys to shoot the Wendy Bird, for goodness sake. BUT, that never meant that she was in love with him. He was her best friend. However, in the film, they decided to go the love route. Fine. What’s done is done. The kiss thing weirds me out like no other, but I understand the point of it. Had she not kissed Peter, he would not have remembered Moira or the reason he was in Neverland in the first place.

I love the idea of Neverland (and reality) making you forget. I thought that was a really good concept that was added to the film. Also, kudos to Maggie for realizing this much earlier than her brother. She’s clearly the smart one.

I love the emphasis on the father/son relationship throughout the film. And, it’s wonderful that Peter and Jack’s relationship was repaired throughout that whole experience.

The death of Captain Hook in this film is important. Peter Pan has a life in the real world. He has a wife and children, and he will return to reality. Captain Hook can’t really exist without Peter Pan. Going after Peter Pan gave his life purpose. He even briefly discusses it when he “attempts” suicide. He’s sick of killing Lost Boys and Indians. Pan gave his life meaning and, without Peter Pan, there’s nothing. So, there was no other end for Captain James Hook than to be consumed by, well, time.

This is one of those films that I hold so near and dear to my heart that, when somebody tells me that they don’t like it, I begin to question how important that person is in my life. I kid, of course (like, half-kid).

What are your thoughts on this film? Is it one that you love? Does the name Rufio hurt you like it hurts me? Let me know!

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