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A cinematic adaptation of Jules Verne's 1874 novel "The Mysterious Island", the story begins during the American Civil War, as famine and death ravage the city of Richmond, Virginia. Five northern POWs make the decision to escape the war by hijacking a hot air balloon! Drifting through the night, they wake to find themselves marooned on a desert island, but they aren't alone... Littered with wreckage, the island is home to 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, 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... but will they make it in time before the island claims them forever? Written by
Being Indifferent To The Characters Makes Me Indifferent To The Movie
The island is mysterious. I'll give the movie credit for that, at least. And the mysteriousness of the island does manage to carry this for a while. The basic problem that I had with this, though, was that after a while I simply found myself not caring. The characters weren't at all sympathetic. None of them were sufficiently developed to really make me care about their fate, which is a big problem in a movie like this, since most of the story revolves around what's happening to the castaways.
The movie is obviously based on the Jules Verne story of the same name in which a group of Union soldiers steal a giant Confederate balloon in order to escape from Richmond near the end of the Civil War and get carried by the winds to the island. Obviously it's based very loosely on that story. I have only vague memories of the Verne story, but what I recall tells me that while the very basic outline is here, much of the original story is either left out or changed in this. And obviously, Verne having written the story in 1875, the addition of the Bermuda Triangle plot, and the crash of the airplane aren't from the Verne story at all, the former simply lending a paranormal feel to this, the latter being little more than an excuse to introduce two attractive young women to the group of castaways. The ending left me a bit dry and it left everything up in the air, whereas the Verne story had a much more definite ending.
For a while this is fine. It just falters mainly on the sense of indifference I had to the characters. If you don't care about the characters, you really don't care about the story. (4/10)
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