Hook (Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman) : Cinema Classics
Well, the other night I watched the Spielberg opus “Hook”. I’d seen it ages ago but then in that same week I read this book about birds so the “Hook” part of my memory got instantly replaced with bird facts.
The brain is a wonderful thing!
Well anyway, let me tell you, if you haven’t seen this movie “Hook” then I would suggest you write a letter to your local councilman (because I hear he is a very lonely man).
So this film is kind of a re-telling or a sequel or something to the old classic chestnut “Peter Pan”. The film even opens with a school play of “Peter Pan”, so already it’s pretty meta and it kinda makes you think that Spielberg‘s gone all lo-fi and just filmed a play and that’s just going to be the movie. But then you see that Robin Wiliams is there watching the play so you realise the play is just one part of the movie – phew!
Anyway, so during the play Robin Williams promises his son that he’ll go to his big baseball game, mainly because the son brought a baseball along to the play to use as a kind of guilt-prop. After this though, it seems pretty apparent that Robin could give zero f**ks about going to this baseball game so instead he goes to some meeting.
Then eventually Robin goes to the baseball field but obviously everyone has gone home because the baseball game was on a week earlier or something. I don’t know, it’s hard to get a sense of time in this movie.
Then there’s stock footage of a plane and then we end up in England (?), I’m guessing England because a few people have English accents and Maggie Smith is there, playing some old woman (which has always been her speciality). This old woman is supposed to be Wendy from “Peter Pan” and she tells everyone that there is to be “no growing up!”, but as if that would be a problem for Robin Williams.
There’s this weird bit where Robin takes some phone call about owls and I didn’t get this really, but I think he was talking to his agent about not being cast in “Legends of the Guardians : The Owls of Ga’hoole”. He seems really pissed off about this whole thing, so much so that he yells at his kids. To be fair though, his kids suck.
Fast forward a bit and this old weirdo starts yelling “Hook!” as though he’s just realised what movie he’s in, much to his own disgust. Then Robin and Maggie Smith and that other one that looks familiar but really isn’t when you IMDB her (even though she’s apparently in “Cliffhanger”), come home and find that their kids have been taken, much like that film “Taken“.
Turns out that this guy called Hook has come back and he’s kidnapped Robin’s kids. If only Liam Neeson was there, man, it really would be just like that film “Taken” and Hook would be about to get the shit kicked out of him (this is definitely a potential Best Picture Oscar idea).
Anyway, Liam Neeson’s not there though so the next logical thing for Robin Williams to do is phone up Phil Collins who comes round and rather than singing “In the Air Tonight”, he takes the matter very seriously (but is pretty much useless).
Thanks a lot Phil! Stick to dressing up as a gorilla and appearing in Cadbury commercials (I’m pretty sure that’s right).
Then there’s this bit with a UFO, oh wait, it’s that one from ‘The Ant Bully’ again. Except now she has wings. She says some stuff, but I don’t know if it’s important because I didn’t listen (I’m assuming it’s not plot-critical though).
Then, somehow Robin gets transported to another world (probably was plot-critical) and now he’s on a boat sticking his finger through a hole in a blanket. There are pirates and it’s a pretty serious situation but Robin just refuses to accept it as his reality, instead quipping at people “Are you related to Mighty Mouse?” and “Oh please don’t, I have a bad back”. Keep in mind that these aren’t even really funny jokes and also, he just had his kids kidnapped.
Okay, so there’s all these pirates and they seem to follow this Hook guy like they’re in some sort of cult. It’s like these pirates all have Bieber-fever or some other type of Bieber related STD. This guy Smee then calls out “Good Morning Neverland!” which is an obvious reference to that other Robin Williams film ‘Good Morning Vietnam’ which is really weird, because it raises a pretty big question as to whether Smee is knowingly referencing ‘Good Morning Vietnam’ or what.
I mean, it is pretty weird that he says that line, because it implies that he’s familiar with the film and therefore also the actor Robin Williams. But then, Robin is also in this film too, the film ‘Hook’, which Smee is in. But then, to Smee, this isn’t a film,this is supposed to be Smee’s reality, isn’t it? It’s a total mindfuck and I had to pause the film and re-think my whole personal philosophy system at this point.
Also, what I don’t get about Hook is whether he was named “Hook” after he got the hook, or was that always his name? I know he gets called “Captain James Hook” so I guess it’s just an unfortunate coincidence that he lost his hand and now has a hook (weird choice). But it does seem inappropriate that everyone always chants “hook” at him, particularly as he’s so obsessed with the fact that he lost a hand. (I’m sure this is probably answered in the book, but I have bird facts to remember).
Anyway, Hook rocks up and holy shit it’s Dustin Hoffman! In a wig, but still – Dustin Hoffman! Honestly, I’m just grateful it’s not Richard Gere. He details his plan for revenge and then Robin sort of tries to save his kids in a pretty half-hearted way and his daughter says “Come on Daddy, Mommy could do it”. I was surprised he didn’t reply “Oh fuck off, I won’t bother then.” But it’s a family movie or whatever.
So Robin ends up getting knocked into the sea and then he makes out with a bunch of mermaids because that seems appropriate. Then the next bit’s a bit strange because we then see Robin craned out of the water in a giant shell (why that exists – no idea), where he’s dumped into some cave and then he ends up falling into a pile of penguins (yeah that’s right, penguins) and a bunch of random shit happens kinda like in that board game ‘Mousetrap’ and then Robin ends up waking up Tinkerbell who lives inside a clock.
Wait, what the hell? Tinkerbell was just on that ship with him a second ago, attempting to save his life. So in the moment he got thrown into the water, she’s gone back home, had a nap, only to be woken up by him. What the fuck? Time makes no sense in this movie.
Robin ends up hanging out with the lost boys who live in this abandoned army ropes course or something. They spend all their time building skateboard ramps and shitty rollercoaster tracks. I have no idea why. There’s this one lost boy called Rufio and he’s kind of a dickhead. And there’s this fat one who talks really slow and says “Peter” a lot.
Meanwhile, Hook’s a pretty bad dude. He has this plan to indoctrinate Robin Williams’ children and sort of deliberately create a Stockholm Syndrome effect. It’s some pretty dastardly shit, like psychological warfare shit. Also, there’s this bit where Hook mentions that baseball game from earlier in the movie and Robin’s son says “How do you know about that?”.
It’s a valid question, and one that is never answered. Ever. Moving on, then there’s an impromptu baseball game and there’s even a murder during the game, but Robin’s kid doesn’t seem bothered at all by this. At this baseball game, Robin and the lost boys try to steal Hook’s hook. I don’t know why they do this. I think I must have missed something here because there seems to be no point to this. It seems unnecessarily risky and kind of cruel. It’s like stealing a bloke’s wheelchair, kind of.
Here’s another example of time making no sense in this movie. At the baseball game, Robin’s kid hits a home run. Then, you see Robin back at the lost boys’ joint and he gets hit in the head by a baseball. So either they teleported instantly, or the ball got hit so high that they had enough time to get back to the lost boys’ treehouse. Or else, this is a different ball, hit by someone else in the game (or another game). Whatever, it isn’t clear and it makes my brain shut down.
At this point, Robin finds Wendy’s old house-thing and his memory comes back. It’s a pretty fucking ridiculous memory too. Basically it starts off with his mother talking about some shit, and then you see a pram rolling away, presumably never to be seen again (Robin is the baby in the pram). And then that fairy Tinkerbell kidnaps him. So this shows that Robin is presumably not an orphan at all and that his mother simply didn’t bother to secure his pram, or attempt to stop it rolling down a hill.
Also, it shows that Tinkerbell is basically the same as Hook, in that she has no qualms about kidnapping small children. This is supposed to be a fond memory for Robin Williams, but I think this is just a coping mechanism.
And then Gwyneth Paltrow turns up for a bunch of scenes. So weird. Then she becomes Maggie Smith, which explains a lot. Or not very much. I don’t know.
Then sort of awkwardly, Robin (now a young Peter Pan), decides to fall in love with Moira (that ‘Cliffhanger’ one) who is asleep and who he has never met before. Keep in mind that this is the woman he ends up marrying. Yes, this is really creepy.
Oh also, Robin can now fly because he’s discovered his happy thought – to be a father. But then, if he had that happy thought when he was a kid (Peter Pan), then that’s a bit of a contradiction because isn’t the whole thing that he wanted to stay young? Which is sort of not really in line with him wanting to be a father. Just saying. It makes little sense, if any. But therein lies the beauty of this film (not really).
So Peter learns to fly and then he plays basketball. Let’s not forget that his children are currently possibly being murdered multiple times by pirates (and not illegal DVD pirates either).
But then Robin finally does remember his kids so either he’s real forgetful or he’s got some weird split personality. But then, his son has basically forgotten his father though too, so maybe it’s genetic? Meanwhile, Dustin Hoffman has turned the kid into his mini-me, presumably because Verne Troyer was unavailable (unlikely).
Then Robin stabs the shit out of some pirates and suddenly there are about a million extra lost boys who use the power of mirrors, eggs and marbles to attack the pirates, who seem to have the collective IQ of a Kyle Sandilands fan club meeting.
At this point, that little girl, Robin Williams’ other kid from the play at the start, hasn’t been seen for fricken ages. I assumed the pirates must have shot her or something. Oh wait, no, there she is. Robin saves her, but really, who cares about her at this point.
After all this, Hook gets done by the fact that he’s pathologically afraid of clocks (something they should have used against him earlier). He also gets eaten by a stuffed crocodile (which is technically impossible). Also, that asshole Rufio got murdered during the fight which is really pretty brutal, so Robin has to leave the fat kid in charge of the lost boys (big mistake – personally I would have left James Madio in charge because he ends up being in ‘Band of Brothers’).
Then Robin returns to the real world with his kids and becomes a man-child. So I guess that shows that everything has returned to normal. Except some old man flies out the window, but I didn’t really pick up who he was anyway. Main thing is, Robin Williams is a man-child.
Basically this film has everything you could ever want in a film, except for Tim Allen. In fact, nobody from the cast of ‘Home Improvement’ is in this film. So I guess I have to subtract “review points” there.
Once again, I’d mainly recommend this film to fans of ‘The Ant Bully’.