Hook (1991)

hook poster 1991 movie robin williams
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Hoffman is a great Captain Hook, Rufioooooooooo

Visuals haven't all aged well, story isn't very balanced and misses good opportunities

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Hook

Studio:  Amblin Entertainment

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Family

Release Date(s):  December 11, 1991

MPAA Rating:  PG

Got to crow, got to fly!

Got to crow, got to fly!

Peter Banning (Robin Williams) is a man consumed by his job with no time for his wife Moira (Caroline Goodall), his son Jack (Charlie Korsmo), and daughter Maggie (Amber Scott).  When they travel to England to celebrate Moira’s grandmother and Peter’s caregiver Wendy Darling (Maggie Smith) who helped inspire J.M. Barrie to write his celebrated Peter Pan.  Maggie and Jack are kidnapped at night by the villainous Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) and Peter Banning is about to discover that he is the legendary Peter Pan!  Now, Peter must remember the past he is trying to forget with the help of Tinker Bell (Julia Roberts) and the Lost Boys if he hopes to defeat Hook and rescue his children.

hook-1991-movie-review-captain-smee-dustin-hoffman-bob-hoskins

Hey, this movie is called Hook…not Pan!

Directed by Steven Spielberg, Hook was a follow-up story to the popular 1911 J.M. Barrie fairytale Peter and Wendy.  The movie was released to mixed reviews and a huge marketing push which included video games and other tie-ins.  Though the movie did meet with a profit, it was still considered a failure, but it did receive Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction—Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Visual Effects, Best Makeup, and Best Original Song (“When You’re Alone”).

I think Peter Pan is a far more interesting idea in concepts and themes more than an actual story.  Likewise, the ideas of Hook are far more interesting than the actual movie, though it does have some memorable moments.

hook-1991-movie-review-peter-pan-lost-boys-rufio-dante-basco-striped-red-mohawk-robin-williams

Ru-fi-oooooooooooooo!!!!

Hook is fun at points and tiring at other points.  Peter’s discovery of himself leads to some great moments (and stuff for Robin Williams to really chew up).  Unfortunately, the father-son aspect of the story is very tired and predictable.  You know where the story is going and despite a surprise death, the movie ends just like you expect it to.

The movie is loaded with stars.  Williams is in his comedic element in the rather physical comedy, and Hoffman is a perfect Captain Hook.  Julia Roberts allegedly caused some problems on the set as Tinker Bell but Bob Hoskins (who played Smee again in the mini-series Neverland) was popular with the cast.  Maggie Smith played an aged Wendy Darling and child star Charlie Korsmo plays Peter’s son.  Another scene stealer is the mohawked Dante Basco as the leader of the Lost Boys Rufio (“Ru-fi-ooooooooooo!”).  There are many cameos in the film including Kelly Rowan, musicians Phil Collins, David Crosby, and Jimmy Buffett, Glenn Close, George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, and a young Gwyneth Paltrow as a younger version of Wendy Darling.

hook-1991-movie-review-peter-pan-flying-robin-williams-neverland

Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning!

The special effects of the movie (especially at the time) were pretty good.  I don’t love the main set with the crocodile clock, but I like the basic look of the pirate ship and Neverland…there are some bad looking green screens, but for the most part the bigger picture aspect of the special effects work.

Hook is one of those movies that is loved by kids of that age but honestly doesn’t live up to many of Spielberg’s earlier works.  Spielberg did return to his form with his next two movies both released in 1993…the massively popular dinosaur picture Jurassic Park and the critically acclaimed Best Picture winner Schindler’s List…proving when compared to this movie, he isn’t the most consistent director.

Related Links:

Peter Pan (1953)

Tinker Bell (2008)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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