This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Demi Adejuyigbe’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
There's a lot to dislike about this movie– so much so that apparently Spielberg doesn't even love it himself– but I think it's magical. Julia Roberts having fun! Incredible production design that feels like a Universal Studios live show! Outstanding cameos! (Glenn Close?? Phil Collins?? David Crosby?? Jimmy Buffet?? George Lucas and Carrie Fisher for some reason????) An all-time iconic performance from Dustin Hoffman! If I had just one (1) more beer in me, the scene where the little boy says "Oh there you are Peter" would've brought a tear to my eye. Spielberg brings a sense of fantasy and whimsy to so many other projects, it's great to just see him take that style right to a straight-up fantasy. And frankly, I don't think Paddington 2 exists without Hook. There's a level of camp to the pirates' performance and lifestyle that feels almost directly lifted for Paddington– and I love it!
Watching this film from the point of view of the Lost Boys is a trip; imagine losing your idol to the disillusionment of adulthood and being stuck in the limbo of moving on and fighting to pull him back to the light. Imagine not knowing where your leader has gone all these years, only to learn he went and had his own life, away from your world, created his own family and grew into the one thing you'd known you never wanted to be. It's not something Spielberg leans on, but watching this movie as an adult has me thinking so much more about the tragedy of the Lost Boys. (Which is a tragedy that works much better than the whole 15 seconds devoted to Rufio's death before everyone just kind of moves on. Weird!)