What say you, dear reader, and I journey back to the magical time of 1991?
Ah, 1991! A time when “Home Alone” had changed the landscape of films directed at children just the year before, and when a Steven Spielberg movie about Peter Pan starring Robin Williams seemed like the greatest plan any of us had ever heard.
I haven’t seen “Hook” since I was maybe twelve years old! Let’s jump right in and see how the old girl holds up, shall we?
The Best Parts:
45 seconds in – Also the exact expressions of the children in the real life audience throughout the proceedings.
2 minutes in – At this point, the Foreshadowing Fairy just threw up her hands and went home.
4 minutes in – LOL, Cell-Phones! Anyone who carries them around is without a doubt a rich asshole, am I right?
6 minutes in – Evidence of a much more innocent time.
14 minutes in – So can you hear the little ’90’s kids who came here for a “Peter Pan” Robin Williams movie asking, “WTF is this?” yet?
16 minutes in – The Symbolism Fairy has also just thrown up her hands and gone home.
21 minutes in – At this point, I realized that “Hook” is not only as awful and uncomfortable as I remembered from that one time I watched it as a disappointed kid; it’s even more so, if that is even possible.
23 minutes in – By the way, if you are wondering how in the hell Captain Hook got to our world, this movie is not at all as concerned about that issue as you are.
25 minutes in – Also, this scene right here is a prime cut of Nightmare Fuel for several different age groups.
35 minutes in – “Well, sucks for you, Toodles. G’bye!”
36 minutes in – And thus do we finally make it to Neverland more than a f***ing half-hour in.
42 minutes in – In my research I have found that there are many who consider the “Boo Box” scene the most awkwardly upsetting moment in a movie full of them. I am going to politely disagree but we will get to that when we get to that.
47 minutes in – I don’t have nearly enough wine to make it through this movie.
50 minutes in – Not enough wine in the whole house.
53 minutes in – Not enough wine in the whole city.
Anyway, here comes the one aspect of this movie everyone remembers. Mind you, I’m coming into “Hook” fresh off the season finale of “Avatar: Legend of Korra”. Yeah.
55 minutes in – What is even going on?!?
56 minutes in – I will point to this Totally Radical scene and say that this right here is where Spielberg and company just threw up their hands and… well, since they couldn’t go home in the middle of making this hugely overbudget movie, they instead just said, “F*** everything.”
58 minutes in – If this little kid says anything like, “I still believe in you,” then there is not enough alcoholic beverages in this entire hemisphere of the planet to make it through “Hook” in one piece.
59 minutes in – Holy. Sh*t. This. Movie.
1 hour, 2 minutes in – I don’t even…?
By the way, in my research I found many persistent rumors that a much earlier version of “Hook” would have involved -and this is one of those pop culture rumors that is just so strange and jarring that of course it’s true- Michael Jackson in the Peter Pan role. I honestly cannot say with any confidence anymore whether that version would have been any more awkwardly upsetting than the one we have.
1 hour, 12 minutes in – So do I even have to mention how many Jake Lloyd Awards I need for this cast? Seriously, what is even happening here? Aside from an inordinate number of scenes where bad child actors chuck colorful substances at each-other?
1 hour, 20 minutes in – Oscar-Nominated Song! No, really. It was up against at least half of the “Beauty and the Beast” songs. For real.
1 hour, 24 minutes in – I submit that this scene is more awkwardly upsetting than the “Boo Box” scene.
1 hour, 27 minutes in – I’m at a loss as to whether Vampire Thunderstorm Baseball is more stupid/less stupid/just as stupid as Pirate Daddy Issues Baseball.
1 hour, 31 minutes in – Oh, just chuck yourself at the ground and miss.
1 hour, 35 minutes in – Again, also the facial expressions of the real life children in the audience throughout the proceedings.
1 hour, 36 minutes in – Ditto for this.
1 hour, 38 minutes in – I submit that this scene is more awkwardly upsetting than the “Boo Box” and “No, f*** you, dad’s watch!” scenes combined.
1 hour, 40 minutes in – By the way, look how f***ing long it took for Peter to get his sh*t together!
1 hour, 44 minutes in – I submit that this here scene, since this is the one I remember, is more awkwardly upsetting than all the awkwardly upsetting scenes we have suffered through so far. But at least we’re over the hump now.
1 hour, 50 minutes in – You know, it’s oddly appropriate that the most lasting legacy of this movie is a Skrillex song.
1 hour, 51 minutes in – CHICKEN CRUELTY!!! Jeez, and she looks dead during part of this scene!
1 hour, 53 minutes in – OVERWEIGHT CHILD CRUELTY!!!
1 hour, 58 minutes in – “Dammit, Hook. Grow the f*** up.”
2 hours, 2 minutes in – Yeah, I think we’ve got time for another awkwardly upsetting scene, don’t you?
2 hours, 4 minutes in – Yet again, the faces of the real life kids in the audience who sat through this whole thing.
2 hours, 5 minutes in – Note that Jack and Maggie have just learned how to fly. And instead of getting to join the Lost Boys and fly around Neverland and have adventures and fun, they immediately have to go home. That’s “Hook” in a nutshell right there.
2 hours, 9 minutes in – By the way, consider, after the past few days from her point of view, how much of a mind-f*** this must be for the mother here!
2 hours, 14 minutes in – Well I guess this is as sensible an ending as this movie could ever get.
“Have to fly! Have to fight! Have to crow! Have to save Maggie, have to save Jack!” – Toodles
“I want to die.” – Hook. Or possibly the actor breaking character.
“A-haha… Oh my God…” – Jack. Or possibly another actor breaking character.
“He’s just a mean old man, without any Mommy!” – Maggie (WTF?!?)
Rufio: “You ARE the Pan! You can fly! You can fight! You can…?”
Peter: “(Imitates the sound of an entire nest of Starlings being dropped into a vat of acid.)”
Things I Learned from this Movie:
* – Well, gee, above all else I learned that it’s very hard and intimidating to be a good dad for your children, because you are constantly worried that you aren’t a good enough dad. And it is hard to make time for your kids if you are a busy man. But you really do have to be a good dad for your children. Especially because you never know when you will have to go to a magical land and rescue them from a storybook villain.
* – Also, above all else, DO NOT LEAVE GIANT WINDOWS OPEN IN CHILDREN’S BEDROOM!
* – Also also, above all else, DO NOT LEAVE HOUSE WHEN CHILDREN ARE ASLEEP WITH ONLY A DERANGED HOBBIT TO WATCH THEM!
* – Fairies are made of the joy and laughter of children everywhere. And also lens flairs.
Things That Can Save Any Movie:
Cool Creatures? No.
Good Soundtrack? I think John Williams was the first person to give up here.
Hot Guys? No.
Pretty Scenery? Eh…
Nifty Animation/Effects/Art Direction? The treehouse the Lost Boys live in has a skate park and a basketball field. Yeah.
Drinking Game Potential? There are not enough alcoholic beverages in the Northern Hemisphere.
Head Movie Potential? That goes for this as well.
Rating: Out of:
Yeah, it’s bad, but at least it’s kind of fascinatingly bad.
An Amblin Film released in 1991 by Tri-Star Pictures. Written by James V. Hart, Malia Scotch Marmo, and Nick Castle and directed by Steven Spielberg.
Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins, Maggie Smith, Dante Basco, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jimmy Buffet(!!!), Phil Collins(!?!), Glen Close(?!?), and a metric crap-ton of Jake Lloyd Award recipients.
“Yeah, It’s That Bad” Episode 74
Roger Ebert Review