Movie Defense Force: Hook

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Where was I?

Not even born yet. :( Wouldn't be born for 3 more years.

OK Jim, I'll confess. Before even watching the video I was about to charge in here and say "Bullshit! This doesn't need defending! It's a great movie and everybody loves it!"

... then you mentioned that it was hammered by critics when it was released and that it has a bad score on Rotten Tomatoes. That honestly took me by surprise, so I went to IMDB and found out that it has a 6.5 there. Not a bad score at all, but honestly it feels kinda low for this movie. You were obviously right in defending Hook, but for the life of me I just don't get it. It's a fun movie. It's a good movie. Why the hell would it actually need defending?

A agree with you 100%, exact same sentiment here.

Although, I would add that critic ratings aren't always a good measure of fan appeal, especially with summer blockbusters. IIRC, critics said that 300 was garbage and would fail as well.

Only thing I disliked about this movie was tink growing full size.

It was just such a weird mix. I don't remember it that clearly (I saw it in the cinema and never since) but I remember loving the action and comedy elements but constantly being forced back into the mawkish sentimental shit. It was absolutely the worst of self-indulgent Robin Williamsness. The only scene I remember really vividly is that awful little boy thinking his 'happy thought' and going 'My dad... Peter Pan' like he's worshipping a god. It made me want to be sick in my mouth.

Once again I come back to my age-old plea - what the hell is it with Hollywood and Daddy issues?

Dustin Hoffman is absolutely brilliant in his role.
I love the movie, I really do, the issue here in the states is it tends to be run on TV all the damn time, ensuring anyone who has even a residual shred of good memories and enjoyment from it will loathe it's opening screen when they catch it channel surfing.

The opening scene where they are going through the house in the dark, and there is a line of damage where Hook has dragged his weapon across the house?

That scared me senseless as a child.

WHAT THE FUCK? this movie got bad reviews when it came out? back then i was only 1yo so i didn't know this... wtf? everyone i know loves it and it was one of my favorite movies growing up. and i still love it, i watched it again a few months ago.

I think Tim Starlong chose this because it was critically hated, despite having what's needed for the critics to love it. Yes, everyone has told me to watch this repeatedly, but not critics. As much as the general public loves this film, it's sitting at a mediocre 6.5 on imdb when it almost deserves to be criterion for all that was mentioned here and a few shots framed almost Kubrician if they were toned down, but the over-the-top feel just adds to a cinematographic equivalent of the ancient epic tales.

Also, I know Jim did Hellraiser 3, probably my second favorite of the series, but if you really want a challenge, try defending Hellraiser:Revelations.

Anyone who took issue with this film needs a prescription of "remove stick from arse". It did exactly what it set out to do and did it with a flair and style that is still remembered to this day.

Rufio, the attempted suicide, fat kid rolling down the gangplank as a bowling ball... it was essentially the spiritual successor to The Goonies.

Remove stick from arse, Rotten Tomatoes. Hook was brilliant.

Where were we!?

Where was I? Jim, I was all of seven/eight years old in 1991. I was lucky to be sentient enough to like the damn thing, much less defend it from critics. That said, you can bet thy ass I'd defend it today.

once started a shoutround (you shout and it is repeated over and over) at a music festival shouting "Rufio!"

Gawd I love this movie!

Yeah, I was eight as well when this came out, and I was only aware that "critic" was something you could do as a grown-up because I had seen Siskel & Ebert a once or twice on TV. However, I was aware enough at the time that one of the main reasons I was excited for this movie was because Steven Spielberg directed it, and he had also directed my favorite movie up to that point, motherfucking E.T.

Also, let's all not forget that the great Dame Maggie Smith played the small but pivotal role of Wendy Darling.

I remember liking that film but damn... I don't remember most of those scenes shown.

Wait, what? I had no idea people hated it. It was one of my favorite movies back in the day.

Where was i? In the cinema, watching it.

Hear, Hear. I also watched in the cinema. Love this movie, never saw anyone badmouthing it.

Adept Mechanicus:
Whenever there was a long road trip in my youth, I always took my portable DVD player with me.

And now I really feel old, thanks for that.

OT: I'm in the group that can't believe this needed defending. I thought this was considered a classic. Apparently it was only loved by the people it was actually made for, not critics.

I loved Hook when I was 11. I also loved Godzilla and Nintendo.

Two out of three ain't bad.

Where was I when Hook needed defending? Back when it was in theaters?.....

..... Well... I suppose I must have been shitting myself somewhere at the time.


*chuckle* Glad someone said it.

"Dark and sinister man, have at thee." Which I believe was in the original stories.


Where was i? In the cinema, watching it.

Hear, Hear. I also watched in the cinema. Love this movie, never saw anyone badmouthing it.

I can't recall anyone hatting it. I thought it was a good kids movie and enjoyed the soundtrack fully.

Speaking as one of the generation this film was apparently made for...yeah, I goddamn love this movie. Hell I'm going to go watch it right now!

"Let's not bother talking about the kids and Julia Roberts though." Yes thank you for that Jim. And you're right about Bob Hoskins as well, he can't not be brilliant. You've failed to mention one important thing though: music god Phil Collins is also in Hook for a minute!

I love how he just very seriously responds at the end, "Well, one does." as if he remembered flying too. :D

Bangarang!!!! This is one of my most loved movies from my childhood!

You have to remember that "back in the 90s" any film that WASN'T aimed at gen-X'rs was considered crap.

This film was a delightful family romp and a near perfect sequel to one of Disney's best animated films which is even more surprising since this is NOT a Disney film.

Hoffman's Hook sets the standards for "live action" cartoon villainy and as for Robin Williams as Pan... It's the role he was born to play!

If you did this film today it would star either Adam Sandler or Will Ferrell as pan and Johnny Depp as hook with Kevin James as Smead.


I had no clue people didn't like that movie? Checked out, what the hell?


To me Hook was ok but the only thing I remember is the crazy lady at the start. AHHH IT'S SNOWING (SLAM). Loved that part.

That was a guy, actually.

I actually say that to myself everytime I suddenly see a snowstorm - never gets old.

The thing I remember most about it (besides the fantastic final fight and Boo-Box scary the crap out of me as a kid) was the liberal use of color - flowers, costumes, the elaborate pies and cakes at the feast, everything really popped in a way neon CGI will never do for me.

Hook is a great fun movie, often snubbed by semi-intellectuals trying to boast their enthralled movie critic lingo, without really grasping the nuances of movie making and storytelling. Of course, let's not talk about Julia Roberts in it; but that was just typical 90's "We need a current A-lister for any role. No matter if it's fitting"

Also may I suggest the movie defense of Toys (1992) with Robin Williams as well. Great movie. As a child I'll never forget the scene when the General, annoyed, shoots a fly with a gun. I was a little child then, and no scene has ever so clearly depicted the feeling of overwhelming frustration to me. I just got it, as a kid it spoke directly to me. That's when movie visual language started to mean something to me.

I like that movie! I'd defend this. I couldn't when it was first released because I was so young I couldn't say a damn word. But I loved what it did for the story, I love the sets, I love the casting, its all underrated and back then hated. This is one of those moments that inspires me to hold on to my immaturity, and holding on to what's fun in life.

I loved the crap out of this movie. No idea it was so hated. Though yes, let's not mention Julia Roberts in this.

I didn't know that Hook was critically panned, I've always loved the movie.

Edit- And where were we?

In my defence I was one.

I hate Hook and everything about it. The very audience alienating premise of the puckish spirit of boyhood (amoral and unlikable as he may be) growing up to be a unlikable lawyer is annoying enough but the movie swerves from the sentimental to the despicable at the drop of a hat. Rufio's death really bothered me, marring what was an inoffensive family film until that point and Robin William's acting was....yeah. Stupid lawyer jokes didn't exactly blow me away as a wee boy either.

I didn't see it until several years later on VHS when I was maybe 10 or so. Could well be younger.

Even though I couldn't pick up on many of the underlying critical nuances of the film; I always recalled that the early scenes with the damage in the house were strikingly well-directed and quite unnerving. However, the bulk of the film struggled to 'hit' for me at that age. I remember consciously thinking even then, that I was conflicted in my impression of whether the movie was decent or terrible; when you generally sit back unquestioningly with movies at those ages; until the later stages, and I settled on "pretty good" as the credits rolled.

I was basically waiting for him to become Peter Pan again, sooner rather than later, and found most of the rest of the film irrelevant fluff. I remember being really excited when he became Peter Pan again, and enjoyed that stage of the movie. But even recalling being someone with under-developed critical skills, any time Julia Roberts/Tinker Bell were on screen couldn't end soon enough, and Rufio's death was enough of a pointless dick move to stick out to me.

Surprised to hear it got panned. I assumed the consensus was that it was at least serviceable.

Hook was lambasted? Really? I thought it was a great movie when I was a kid and I've watched it numerous cousins, sister and family members.

[Edit] I was nine two decades ago.

Bangarang !!

Just had to go check Rotten Tomatoes to make sure Jim didn't make a mistake:

Hook (1991) - 31%

Thirty-one percent.

Let's turn this into a game, shall we?

First, go to Hook's Rotten Tomatoes page.

Then take a look at some of the films whose score is significantly higher than that and see how long you can prevent yourself from choking on your own rage.


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