Originally Posted by Zack Gibbs
Hook; I was 8 or 9 and liked it a lot (still do), as do all my friends of the same age. I guess the pieces just don't gel with some people because I can't find any major faults with the movie.
My main problems with "Hook" from my review::
"At more than two hours and 20 minutes, Hook is much too long and it moves at a snail's pace for the most part. Spielberg seems far too concerned with establishing the back story, an issue that seems almost meaningless. The audience is already familiar with most of the characters, and the plot's main twist - that Pan has grown up and become a serious adult - doesn't take an hour to explain. If I was so bored by what was happening during much of the movie's first half, I can't imagine how bad it must be for younger kids.
Speaking of kids, they manifest some of Hook's biggest problems as well. The children who play Peter's offspring aren't an issue; little Amber Scott is appropriately adorable as youngest daughter Maggie, and Charlie Korsmo delivers a very good performance as son Jack.
The kiddie problem here comes from the Benetton ad castoffs picked to play the Lost Boys. From the biggest to the smallest, they all share one characteristic: they're really annoying and they consistently bring down the film. These kids scream "Hollywood cute" so loudly that the sound drowns out any positives; all I could think when they were onscreen was how much I hoped they'd leave.
Since the Lost Boys are a major component of the Neverland scenes, that's not a good thing. Their segments showed the film's flaws in other ways as well; at those times it was much easier to distinguish how much of Hook favored spectacle over heart.
It's pretty clear that by this point in his career, Spielberg was not the same filmmaker he was a decade or more prior to that time. He entered his "serious" stage and simply didn't seem very interested in fun movies. Hook was supposed to mark a return to that territory but all it demonstrated was how far out of touch he had become. He'd regain his talent for the spectacular with Jurassic Park, of course - even its detractors have to recognize what an exciting piece of work it remains, and even its much maligned 1997 sequel (The Lost World) offers some terrific action pieces - but Hook clearly marked the demise of Spielberg's ability to create something along the lines of an ET.
And that's too bad, for as good as his straight action films are, Spielberg really excelled at the magical fantasies like ET and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He hasn't attempted another film of that sort since Hook and I honestly don't think he will; right now Spielberg appears able to invest himself in either exciting action flicks that lack depth or more serious historical pieces and that's it. The Spielberg who made so many of us cry over a wrinkly puppet in 1982 is dead, and Hook acts as the funeral."