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Anything can happen on Nim's Island, a magical place ruled by a young girl's imagination. It is an existence that mirrors that of her favorite literary character, Alex Rover - the world's greatest adventurer. But Alexandra, the author of the Rover books, leads a reclusive life in the big city. When Nim's father goes missing from their island, a twist of fate brings her together with Alexandra. Now they must draw courage from their fictional hero, Alex Rover, and find strength in one another to conquer Nim's Island. Written by
Nim's Island is a tale about a young girl named Nim (imagine that) who lives with her single father on a remote island in the middle of the South Pacific. Because she has no friends or neighbors, she spends her time playing with animals and indulging in the fantastic fantasies of her Alex Rover adventure novels. The stories of the Alex Rover novels are assumedly based on the adventures of the author, Alexandra Rover. The reality is that Alexandra is an introvert hermit who spends her days writing her stories in her San Francisco apartment and talking aloud to the imaginary Alex Rover character. Alexandra and Nim come into contact through email and Nim reveals that her father, who is a scientist, is lost at sea. After much debating, Alexandra gets up enough courage to finally leave her apartment and travel to visit Nim. Once on the island, the girls quickly develop a special bond. With the help of the imaginary story hero Alex Rover, they step into a world of fun and adventure where the line separating fantasy and real life vanishes and dreams become realities (I know that last line was really corny, but whatever).
The predominant aspect that enticed me to see the film was the awesome cast. You have academy award winner Jodie Foster as Alexandra Rover, Abegail Breslinwho you may remember from Little Miss Sunshineplaying Nim, and the star of 300, Gerard Butler playing dual roles as the father and as the imaginary Alex Rover. And yes, ladies, he does have his shirt off in this film.
Despite the big names, the cast seemed to lack the necessary chemistry. I thought Butler did an awesome job with both of his roles, but his relationship with his daughter is far from believable. And Jodie Foster, who happens to be one of my favorite actresses, just seems really out of place in this film. Kind of like Subway's Jared eating at Quiznos. Breslin was fine as Nim, but she spends half the movie talking to lizards and a giant seal. That might seem cute to some viewers, but in my opinion she probably needs a psychiatrist, or possibly an exorcist. I would also like to add that someone needs to teach that girl proper running form. Many scenes feature Nim running through the woods or down the beach and every time I watched her run I just started to laugh. With her arms flailing about she looked like Pinocchio running around high on amphetamines or something.
I did really enjoy all the fantasy elements of the film, but I think a movie that mixes fantasy with reality works best when the fantasy aspects provide a sharp contrast to reality. In Nim's Island, the normal lives they live are unrealistic which causes the fantasy elements to lose their effect. I mean, who in the right mind moves to a remote island with a ten year old? And how in the world did they get wireless internet service? I can't even get service in my own basement, and they have perfect connection on an island in the middle of no where.
Maybe my expectations are too high. Maybe I am too old to appreciate a children's film. Nim's Island is, after all, a kid's movie in the purest sense. There are plenty of corny jokes, cute animals, and moments that will probably touch your soul, unless of course you are Satan. I had high hopes for this film because I honestly enjoy quite a few kids' movies. Who here doesn't like Hook? Or The Sandlot? Or Angels in the Outfield? Nim's Island, unfortunately, did not measure up. Sure I laughed a few times and smiled innocently at some of the scenes, but about half way through the movie I well to be perfectly honest, I fell sound asleep. I think I dreamt about unicorns, but I don't really remember.
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