Pan begins with a young mother (Amanda Seyfried) abandoning her young son on the doorstep of an orphanage run by a ghastly nun (Cathy Burke), the child has a locket around it's neck shaped like a set of pan pipes. The story then moves on a few years and it's the height of the blitz, and for reasons that the audience is never told, the nuns at the orphanage sell the boys to pirates, leading to Peter and his fellow orphans being abducted by the crew of a pirate ship and after being chased by spitfire aircraft the boys end up in Neverland. Once they get to Neverland the boys find that the nasty pirate, Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman), is using them as slave workers to mine fairy dust.

Young Peter then manages to escape the clutches of Blackbeard and when he comes across the natives, led by Tiger Lilly (Rooney Mara), he is seen as the chosen one and their one hope of defeating the evil Blackbeard. Helping Peter rise to his destiny is selfish adventurer James Hook (James Hedlund).

It's always a source of concern when a film’s release is delayed and so it proves with Pan, originally advertised for release in March 2015 it now appears in the cinema some six months later. The delay leaves you with the feeling that someone has tried to sort out this mess of a film before it was inflicted on the poor cinema going public.

The story is all over the place, the special effects are at times ropey, the climactic battle where Blackbeard's ship sales through the home of the Pixies is particularly bad, whether they'll look any better in 3D I can't say as the preview that I saw was in 2D.

As for the cast, Hugh Jackman appears to have forgotten that Pan is a family film as his pantomime performance reminds you of the character Immortan Joe from the recent Mad Max film, there's a few references to that film, watch as the boys chant in the mines and I defy you not to compare that scene to the opening scene in Mad Max. Young Levi Miller appears uncomfortable in the role at the start but settles into it the longer the film goes on and as for Garret Hedlund's performance the least said about that the better.

If J. M. Barrie was still alive I'm sure that he would have disowned this sorry excuse of a prequel but as he isn't alive I'm sure that he'll be turning in his grave. The only saving grace is that small undemanding children, which is after all the target audience, might enjoy Pan.

Pan (3D)

1h 51m

starring: Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Adeel Akhtar, Levi Miller

UK Release: Friday 16th October 2015