Browse all reviews by letter     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 - 9

USA 1991
Directed by
Steven Spielberg
144 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1 stars


Hook is Spielberg at his over-stuffed, sentimental, juvenile worst. A noisy, near unbearable re-visioning of the classic J. M. Barrie children’s fairytale I cannot vouchsafe for what a pre-teen may get from it,although, so tortuously long-winded Is the screenplay that I suspect it would be very little but accompanying adults (no-adult in their right mind would watch this if they didn't have to) will find it akin to being dragged though a very long bed of cacti.

Robin Williams plays middle-aged American hot-shot  lawyer Peter Banning (Robin who has returned with his wife (Caroline Goodall) and two children  to visit the now very old Wendy (Maggie Smith) in London. When the children are abducted by his old enemy, Capt. Hook (Dustin Hoffman), Peter must return to Neverland and with the help of Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts) and the Lost Boys finally put paid to Hook.

Although the pot-shot at Peter’s cell phone-fixated existence is more than a little out-of-date the film opens begins well enough with a nice contrast between Peter’s present corporate lifestyle and the cosy charms of his former home in old London Town. Once however Tinkerbell turns up to help him get his kids back the promise of a magical adventure gets sucked down into a tackily over-produced fantasy world that looks like a juvenile version of the set of Mad Max Beyond The Thunderdome (1985) and we are subjected to a seemingly endless series of uninspired stuntwork and sight gags all to the accompaniment of John Williams’ characteristically bombastic score. The only thing one marvels at in all this is how much work has gone into making something so witless. Mostly this just means that Speilberg's direction is laboured although the scriptwriters' idea of giving Tinkerbell a sexual attraction to Peter is decidedly misguided.

Robin Williams is for once overpowered by the cluttered, over-populated production and that is, given his usual monotonously overwhelming presence, for my money, a good thing but Roberts and Bob Hoskins as Smee, Hook’s “companion” only manage to be embarrassing (as is a cameo by Dave Crosby).  The sole bearable aspect of the film is Dustin Hoffman’s pantomime villain but even so, one would have to be a die-hard, if not desperate, fan to stick with this.

FYI: Gwyneth Paltrow, in one of her earliest screen appearances, plays the young Wendy.




Want something different?

random vintage best worst