If you have children - or even if you don't but you're a sucker for kids movies - then Hook is one picture you've likely seen before. Spielberg's take on the Peter Pan fairy tale tells of Peter Banning (Robin Williams) a self-involved, bad tempered work-a-holic lawyer who is neglectful of his wife and two children. For a Christmas vacation they take a family trip to England, to stay with Granny Wendy Darling (Maggie Smith) who Banning hasn't seen for ten years.
It's not long before things go awry and the two children disappear. It's time for Peter to hear some home truths from Granny Wendy, to which he vehemently denies any knowledge. Because Peter Banning has grown up...and forgotten about his real childhood. Enter Tinkerbelle (the ever delightful Julia Roberts) as the tiny glowing fairy, who whisks Peter away to NeverNever Land, to rescue his children from the clutches of the evil Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman). However, he has to learn again what he's forgotten - how to fight, how to fly, how to crow and most importantly, how to have fun...
Hook is a great movie for both children and adults alike. Combining an excellent leading duo of Williams and Hoffman, with a strong supporting cast - Maggie Smith is excellent, Bob Hoskins equally so as Captain Hook's first mate, and Julia Roberts is perfect for the part of Tinkerbelle - it's a visual spectacle that's difficult not to enjoy. Hoffman in particular is great hamming up the character of Hook, portraying the character more with a sense of the comical than menace. Williams, too, fits well into the character of Peter Pan: his transformation from grumpy lawyer to the energised flying boy is so....well...perfectly Williams.
The whole movie plays out as a piece of fun, and pushes all the right buttons. It's sickly sweet in places, perhaps too much so, and certain parts - The Lost Boys - may have some suffering from nausea. But even the most jaded viewer shouldn't be put off by this: Get the family together, sit back and enjoy a modern, very Spielberg-esque take on a classic fairy tale.
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