2011 Running time: 81 Certificate: pg Not yet rated
Neverland Part 1 1S

Synopsis

In the climactic chapter of the Pan-tastic adventure, Peter (Charlie Howe) finds himself blessed with uplifting new powers. But whether it's from tree sprites or his human friends, the boy needs all the help he can get to stop ruthless pirate Liz Bonny (Anna Friel) and his old mentor Hook (Rhys Ifans) from taking control of Neverland. The fairy dust never settles as Peter flies to his destiny through a cloud of battles, betrayals and man-eating spiders.

Director

  • Nick Willing

Cast

  • Rhys Ifans

  • Charlie Rowe

  • Anna Friel

  • Bob Hoskins

Review

When last we saw Peter, he looked like a goner. But as the second act begins, he's clearly just away with the fairies - or, more accurately, the tree spirit Tinkerbell and her flighty friends.

Finally finding her voice (through Keira Knightley), 'Tink' gives him a revitalising bath in what must be Neverland's equivalent of Red Bull - because it effectively gives him wings.

He could certainly do with a boost since power-crazed pirate Liz (Friel) and his old boss Jimmy Hook (Ifans) are still aiming to rule Neverland once they've found the source of the planet's all-powerful dust and wiped out the Kaw Indians who stand in their way.

This they plan to do by kidnapping Kaw princess Tigerlily (Q'orianka Kilcher) and recruiting an army from Earth via the crystal orb that brought them all to Neverland in the first place.

Alas, their beautiful friendship is beginning to buckle. Mistrust and mutiny are definitely in the air.

And so we're set fair for a flurry of rescue missions, reunions and cruel deceptions. Traditional battles on land and at sea rage alongside more unusual skirmishes with eight-legged crocs and deadly scorpion-spider thingies.

Peter learns what happens to his parents, only to have his memory erased as a fairy punishment. Loyalties are tested (exactly whose side is Bob Hoskins' Smee on?) and, as inevitably happens at sea, some hands are lost...

There's even an Avatar-style eco-political agenda with the planet's resources coming under threat from outsiders and a peaceful tribe being driven from their land (it seems American Indians are destined for a hard time whether they're native or not).

How J.M. Barrie really saw Peter's backstory pan out, we'll Neverknow. But this imagination-poking adventure certainly does its best to capture his spirit.