July 9, 2012
Movie Review: Mysterious Island (2010)
Starring Gina Holden, Lochlyn Munro and Pruitt Taylor Vince
A made-for-TV adaptation of Jules Verne's 1874 novel "The Mysterious Island", the story begins during the American Civil War. Five northern POWs make the decision to escape the war by hijacking a hot air balloon. Drifting through the night they
encounter a strange electrical storm. They awaken the following morning to find themselves marooned on a desert island, but they aren't alone... Littered with wreckage, the island is home to a cast of survivors who have been lost in space and time, including Jules and Abby Fogg, two young women from modern times who
become stranded while flying over the Bermuda Triangle. Faced with defending themselves against vicious pirates, terrifying creatures which suspiciously resemble guys in ghillie-suits, and an active volcano that's ready to blow, they must find a way to survive and escape the island. Hope only comes when they encounter the island's oldest resident, Captain Nemo himself. With his help, they set to work crafting an escape.
Here's a classic tale that has had the privilege of getting a coveted made-for-
television make-over, complete with some hot bimbo’s thrown into the mix and
notoriously bad CGI effects, (The kind that would make Ray Harryhausen roll over
in his grave). The result is a wildly imaginative story that has been reduced to
something that is average at best viewing entertainment. The characters, one and
all, are as bland as stale popcorn and I would attribute this to equal parts bad
script and inept acting.
They did make a few tweaks to the story line in an attempt to modernize it,
including a tie-in with the Bermuda Triangle, which was cool and helped to make
sense of how everyone ends up on the island but it was no where near enough to
salvage this ho-hum re-hashing of a story that simply deserves better then this.
And that ending....what was that about? Don't we deserve to find out what happened
to the balloon and everyone in it? It was a bush-league climax that I am assuming
was left open-ended to set up for (I am cringing right now).....a sequel.
50 years ago Ameran Films made a sci-fi adventure classic out of this story,
complete with amazing effects, giant monsters and over-the-top fun. This isn't
that movie. Its more like a bad high-school play based on that movie and if you
were to watch the classic version and this one back-to-back you would seriously
question the progress made by film makers in that 50 year span.
4 out of 10
Reviewed by KennyB