Nim Rusoe is a girl who joins her father, a scientist, when he does research on marine life on an island. It's just the two of them but she spends her time making friends with all the animals she encounters, chatting on the computer and reading the adventure books of Alex Rover. When her father goes to do some research but when a storm strikes the island he doesn't come back, she gets worried and frightened. She then e-mails Alex Rover hoping that he will come but what she doesn't know is that Alex Rover is a woman who is agoraphobic and germaphobic. But her creation comes to life and eggs her to go. Unfortunately she has never gone anywhere before and is denied her necessities like her sanitary gel by the customs officer at the airport. In the meantime, Nim tries to be strong while waiting for Alex to arrive. Written by
Certainly, an acceptable film for families, but a great film it is not
Nim (Abigail Breslin) and her marine biologist father (Gerard Butler) live on an island in the South Pacific. Dad's main area of study is microorganisms so this is a perfect venue for his work, in addition to being a kingdom where only the two of them rule. As Nim's mother died in an accident on the waters, it is also a good place for them to shut out the rest of the world and heal their spirits. Nim's only close friends are her beloved animals, a seal, a seabird, and a lizard. One day, father wants to make a boat trek nearby to look for a new protozoa and, for once, Nim convinces him to let her remain alone on the island. It turns out to be a bad decision, as father gets caught in a storm and can not return home at the appointed time. Nim appeals to an adventure writer named Alex Rover to come to the island and help look for her father (the island does have computer technology!) But, unknown to Nim, Alex is really Alexandra (Jodie Foster) and she is a shy agoraphobic who resides in San Francisco. Nevertheless, due to the gravity of the situation, Alex boards a plane and begins a journey to the island. Will she get there in time to save Nim and her father from destruction? On paper, this is a certain winner, for the basic premise of the movie is quite good and the undiscovered island setting is the stuff of dreams. Throw in the great threesome of Foster, Breslin, and Butler, and one could hardly ask for more, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case and it is difficult to say why, for the principal actors are quite good and the scenery is lovely. Also, there is some sly humor, as in the scene where a hula dancer is stopped in mid-wave to escape an exploding volcano! Perhaps, it is the story's inconsistencies and the slap-dash direction that are at fault, for the scenes seem put together in a mozaic that doesn't quite fit. Then, too, Butler takes on two roles, one as the father and one as the fictional alter-ego, Alex Rover, of Foster's books, with mixed results. To sum it up, the movie probably tries to do "too many things" and ends up lacking a real focus. However, it is absolutely an acceptable film for families, with enough adventure to please most age groups and a setting that is exotic and lovely beyond belief. Anyone searching for something new in the "child-friendly" category would find this one a good watch, but not a great one, alas.
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