Starring Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins. (U)


Widely considered to be director Steven Spielberg’s lamest movie, this film poses the question: What if Peter Pan grew up? Well, it seems he turns into a boring workaholic named Peter Banning (the normally hirsute Williams, who had to shave his arms and chest for the role) who has no recollection of his life in Neverland until his own children are kidnapped by Captain Hook (Hoffman, chewing the scenery with moustache-twirling glee) and he has to return to the magical land and reclaim his youthful spirit in order to be able to rescue them.

With a cast that includes Bob Hoskins as Smee, Maggie Smith as the grown-up Wendy, Julia Roberts (with very unfetching haircut) as Tinkerbell and, erm, Phil Collins as the inspector investigating Peter’s missing children, you would expect this to be a treat. And there are some good bits (many involving Hoffman, and some impressive flying effects), but there are very bad ones too (the lost boys have been given a late 20th-century makeover, with punky haircuts and skateboards to zip around on). Saddest of all, though, is that, while packing his film with star power, Spielberg completely forgot to throw in some much-needed charm. 

Star Star


A few characters are killed, usually in a semi-comic manner.

The sword-fights may scare younger children, who may also be disturbed by Dustin Hoffman’s Captain Hook.


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Very Good