There's much to sadly shake your head at in Pan, a sort of Peter Pan Begins that manages the unlikely feat of making battles between flying pirate ships a crushing bore. Most miserably, there's the great heap of action set pieces that are easier to wait out than to track with an instrument so primitive as the human eye — perhaps the singularity is nearing, and director Joe Wright's computers are whipping these scenes up for the enjoyment of advanced artificial intelligences.
There's also a profound cluelessness about tone. In the opening scenes, set in London during the blitz, our chosen-one orphan boy hero Peter (Levi Miller) is more shaken by a pal's creaking fart than he is by the bombs raining down all about him, proof the filmmakers don't take kids or their story seriously. Meanwhile, the tribe of "savages" here turns out to be a population made up of actors from many of our world's non-white races, often in ooga-booga getup. The one exception is Tiger Lily, the princess, played by Rooney Mara.
Pan is more evidence that big-budget studio entertainments now come from a sort of Build-A-Bear Workshop, where any unique part turns out only to be superficially different from the others. In this case, the bear has been set to "PG" and "Prebot," stuffed with believe-in-yourself filler, and then sparkled over with some proper nouns courtesy of J.M. Barrie. But I defy you to look in its dead eyes, or at all the scenes and characters cribbed from Star Wars and Avatar, and tell me it's a bear you haven't seen dozens of times before.