Peter Pan and friends endure a terribly boring
and uninteresting adventure in Wendy
WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:
Curious as to what happened, Wendy and her brothers one night sneak off when the train reappears. That is how they meet a young boy named Peter (Yashua Mack) who leads them on a journey to a mysterious island where children never age – as long as they believe in the island and “Mother,” a glowing whale-like sea creature that serves as the heart and soul of the island. The children enjoy their stay at the beginning, playing from sunrise to sunset … But they have no idea what awaits them as their extended stay turns into a life-changing experience, provided Wendy can get her family home once again.
While some will praise (or at the very least, commend) Zeitlin for his progressive thinking in his casting, a Caribbean Peter Pan with a distinct patois is something you’ll either be on board with or not. Likewise, the Pan character as portrayed in Wendy is both aloof and self-absorbed and less a compelling figure as much as he is a necessary conduit to arrive at various story points. (And not to criticize a child’s acting, but given that this is a critique, there are times Mack does not seem like the best choice for Zeitlin’s vision.)
Likewise, the older actors feel like last-minute replacements in their limited roles that match their limited acting skills. In addition, the new “mother” figure in the film – a deep sea creature that serves as the heart of the mythical island that Peter literally calls Mother – is a terrible metaphor for childhood/innocence and a lousy replacement for the role Wendy has in Barrie’s work. There are several plot discrepancies tied to the creature, which is a lot like the movie itself: An interesting but hodgepodge albatross that underdeveloped and misrepresentative of whatever it is supposed to represent.
Given the nearly decrepit pace the story moves at – coupled with the odd camera choices – Mack is the least of the film’s problems. Whereas Wendy aims to be ambitious, it often comes off as forced, odd for the sake of odd and at worst, completely non-compelling. It simply exists for its own sake with payoffs coming off so heavy-handed there is no inherent intrigue other than seeing how it ends.
These are all the reasons that Wendy is better off, like the Lost Boys themselves, staying missing from your movie viewing queue.