Objectively I can see that 1991’s Hook is not an especially good film, but I still can’t help but like it. As intriguing as the idea of a grown-up Peter Pan should be, the movie doesn’t really make enough of the concept. Instead the central theme seems to be a distant father rediscovering his inner child and reconnecting with his offspring, which is hardly the most original of motifs.
Most of the kids in the film are mildly irritating, though some are downright annoying and the character of Rufio is genuinely inexplicable (he’s way too old to be a ‘lost boy’). The action sequences are generally quite pedestrian and the effects are somewhat less magical than they could be.
What the movie does have going for it is Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman and though they aren’t given much to work with, they more than make the most of what they have.
Spielberg has made worse films than this but not many (there are plenty of online lists ranking his movies from worst to best and, while there are quite a lot differing opinions, most rank Hook as one of the weaker films. Even Spielberg himself is reputedly not a fan). I think the main reason I enjoy it is that, like so many bad movies, I fell in love with it as child. No amount of objective criticism is going to shake that affection.
Score for Christmasishness
The opening scenes of the film, the bits before we get to Neverland, are quite clearly set at Christmas time. We even have snow in the scenes set in London – this, of course, never actually happens in London at Christmas time, but it is definitely the staple of many a Christmas movie. Once we get to Neverland, there isn’t so much as a bauble in sight, but as we are in the realms of a fairy tale, it still seems perfectly reasonable to consider this a Christmas(ish) film.