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 ... See full summary »
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
I saw Mysterious Island as I love the story and have a soft spot for the 1961 film. I was dubious as it was SyFy, whose standard of movies generally are nothing to write home about, however even for SyFy Mysterious Island is an abomination. Other commentators have said that it is very loosely based on the book, and they are right. I wasn't expecting much different on that angle, because from their adaptations of Earthsea and Journey to the Center of the Earth I knew that the only resemblance to the original story was going to be either the title or the characters' names. The problem is that Mysterious Island doesn't just fall down as an adaptation, it falls down on its own merits as well. The story here is very dully paced, and due to lack of any real tension or thrills it is very uninteresting as well. The characters are not as interesting either, a lot of them are clichéd and not much is done to develop them. Even Nemo's back-story is rushed and convoluted, almost as if done in reference. The dialogue is often corny with SyFy, but not in a while have I heard dialogue that was so unbearably so that you have a hard time taking anything seriously. The acting is poor, with a stiff uncharismatic Lochlyn Munro, a pretty but vapid Gina Holden and an all too brief Pruitt Taylor Vince. The production values I have no better news I'm afraid. Not much is done to make them authentic with the furs sometimes looking as though they were actually made of straw, also further undermined by the sights of modern technology like air vents when the mansion was built on an island supposedly without electricity. The special effects are laughable, with the octopus belonging more at home in a cheap video game and the shaggy creatures were as scary as someone dressing up for a Halloween party. All in all, terrible. 1/10 Bethany Cox
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