THE MOVIE: "Hook"
THE SET-UP: Revisitation of J. M. Barrie's children's story, "Peter Pan," in which a grown-up and hardened Pan (Robin Williams) must return to Neverland and face his nemeses, Hook (Dustin Hoffman, pictured) and Smee (Bob Hoskins), as well as reconnoiter with his former best friend, the fairy Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts).
THE LOOK: Mary Martin on Melrose. (She played Pan in the Broadway stage version, for those too un-grown-up to remember.) Not even imaginative director Steven Spielberg or Academy Award-winning costume designer Anthony Powell came up with a fresh take on Peter's biomorphic green shorts and top. Remember, this Peter is 40 years old. If classic costuming is called for, couldn't he at least have outgrown the shredded shorts and merited shredded trousers ? Actually, Peter is no worse off than Tinkerbell. She struts in the same old shredded style until, by movie's end, she emerges in a ball gown made of what looks like silver tulle and cellophane that truly befits a magic fairy.
It is Captain Hook's outsized heavy-metal prosthesis that mesmerizes. Fashioned of mirror-polished steel and silver by Burbank's Sword and the Stone (an armor and jewelry manufacturer), it simply dazzles beneath Hook's long scarlet coats, lace cuffs and beside his one gold-and-black gauntlet. He even wears a knit hook-warmer at bedtime. The truth is, in his black tights, short boots, plumed hats and, of course, glorious black wig, Hook is a hoot.
Powell clearly has fun with all the pirates, especially Smee in his skull-print bandanna. The entire pirate crew is effectively garbed in classically inspired pirate gear--head wraps, gold hoop earrings, waist sashes and vests. As for the Lost Boys, they're a costume disaster, cloaked in an unsettling contemporary punk conglomeration of shredded blue jeans, fringed vests, plaid blazers, Indian tribal necklaces and what appear to be Boy Scout uniforms.
THE PAYOFF: Limited. This is a real jumble of tired old classics mixed with supposedly hip new looks. The movie's fashion triumphs, Captain Hook and the pirates, are balanced by just as many disappointments.