Movie Review:
Hook (1991)

Hook (1991)


RELEASE DATE: December 11, 1991




Peter Pan, now going by Peter Banning, has completely forgotten his magical childhood in Neverland and grown up to be a cutthroat corporate lawyer. 

Peter is jolted back into reality when his children are kidnapped by his old nemesis, Captain Hook. 

With the help of Tinkerbell, Peter returns to Neverland to reclaim his youthful spirit and save his children. 


The film explores themes such as the loss of innocence, the power of imagination, the importance of family, and the conflict between tradition and modernity.

I love the way it criticizes corporate culture and consumerism through the exploration of Peter’s character (even if it takes way too long to do so). An obsessed workaholic, Peter neglects his children, his wife, and the other people who are important to him. He cares solely about climbing the ladder of success and doesn’t flinch at what he is sacrificing to get there. He is the epitome of an adult with no fun or creativity in his life and the parallels they draw to that making him a pirate, are spot on.

The rigid hierarchical society of pirates is the perfect metaphor for the business world. Hook rules through fear and violence. His underlings are obsessed with money, success, and glory, even though it’s clear they’re all expendable pieces serving only to make their captain richer.

Meanwhile, The Lost Boys are playful, adventurous, and loyal, and have a strong connection with nature and each other. They are used to show the power imagination and storytelling have as coping mechanisms for reality. As Peter regains his memory, he does so by listening to stories and playing games. We see imagination as not only a source of entertainment, but it is the road to expressing emotions, discovering oneself, and exploring endless possibilities in life.


Everything in Acts 2 and 3 LOL. I’m not a fan of Act 1. It’s just too long and too confusing. We’ll get to that in a bit. I absolutely love Robin as Peter Pan. I can’t get enough of him. Yet he pales in comparison to the great performance by Dustin Hoffman as Captain James Hook. Everything about Hook is perfect. 

Bob Hoskins pulls in my favorite performance by him here as well too. Roger Rabbit is one of my all time favorite films, but Smee is just a delightful character and his chemistry with Hoffman is outstanding.

I love the dialogue, both the improv and what was on the sheet. This film’s dialogue is some of the most quoted in my life.

The set is gorgeous. I wish I could go there.


The entire first act takes way too long. They could’ve already been on the plane at the start of it and Peter could’ve been fighting with his son instantly while taking calls. There’s too much confusion about whose grandmother Wendy is, and while it gets explained, it gets explained too late to not cause that confusion.

His daughter feels like an afterthought in every way. You could cut her completely and the story would barely change and that’s unfortunate, because all it did for me was make me think Peter’s a dick. His happy thought is the day Jack was born, not the days each was born. He apologizes to Jack for missing his game, but not to Maggie for ignoring her play. He works his ass off to save Jack and Maggie has to save herself with the help of the Lost Boys. Kinda messed up. For the record, I don’t WANT her cut… I want her to be treated better. At least she 

got some fun lines.

I don’t like the fact that Rufio is done wrong in this. I get that he needed to die to add actual stakes or there was no chance of death in the film… but we could’ve killed anyone there. I truly believe that Rufio should be lauded as the New Pan. He took over when Peter abandoned them. He kept them safe. He obviously fought Hook a few times. We would have a stronger ending if Peter became Pan The Man again, took the sword, beat Hook, and returned it to Rufio in a monologue about the hero Rufio is, effectively passing the torch to him before returning to London. That would be a stronger ending and one Rufio deserves.

Peter’s kind of an asshole. He disappears, comes back, takes over, takes what he wants, and leaves, but got their protector killed… and then he puts a kid in charge who hasn’t really done anything more than any of the others. It’s a good thing Hook is gone because he’s run over this group, but it’s not like the other pirates/adults have disappeared. I have serious concerns about this group as Peter once again abandons them.


This has always been my second favorite Robin movie, only behind Dead Poets Society (You can read my totally love-blinded, biased take on that movie HERE). I have spent so much of my life quoting this movie… and my favorite parts were pretty much the same as always:

Any time Smee and Hook are chattering back and forth. I don’t know how many times a week I say, “I just had an apostrophe!” or “See, Smee? The children LOVE me!”

The insult war. If you don’t love the insult war, you’re just weird.


I love all the weird cameos in this movie. Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t really count as one, but she’s in it for a few seconds – Just mentioning this so people don’t write me about it. LOL

But the true cameos include: Phil Collins as a police officer, Glenn Close as a pirate, David Crosby as a pirate, Jimmy Buffett as a pirate, and, my personal favorite, George Lucas and Carrie Fisher making out on the bridge. LOL


It took me everything not to make this blog post about five times as long and recount all my favorite memories of this film and favorite moments within. Be glad.


Finally, I just don’t understand one major plot issue. If everyone constantly forgets and adjusts to Neverland as it is, how do they remember Peter? Wouldn’t they just move on? They’d accept Rufio as their leader. Rufio would feud with Hook. Hook would get his war.  While you can tell me Hook needs revenge on Peter, I just don’t buy it. There’s no evidence that makes me think any of these people would remember Peter or go looking for him.


Final Final – The point of Peter Pan is he’s the boy who never grows up. There’s always going to be something that just doesn’t fully work about ignoring this fact. With that said, still my second favorite Robin Williams film.