Movie was certainly not my idea of fantasy
FILM REVIEW: FANSTASY ISLAND (15), THE LIGHT CINEMA, WISBECH, OUT NOW.
STARS: MICHAEL PENA, MAGGIE Q, LUCY HALE, AUSTIN STOWELL JIMMY O. YANG, RYAN HANSEN, MIKE VOGEL AND PORTIA DOUBLEDAY.
RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 49 MINS, DIRECTOR: JEFF WADLOW
The enigmatic Mr Roarke invites competition winners to his luxurious but remote tropical resort to make their dreams come true.
However, he warns them that not all fantasies work out the way they were dreamed and that each person must go through with it until the end.
That experience was pretty much the one suffered by this reviewer in this ham-fisted attempt at a fantasy thriller.
The film is based on the popular 70s TV drama of the same name and draws heavily on parts of the ace more recent series Lost – but it doesn’t really know whether it wants to be an island mystery, a teen horror or a deeper moral story about being careful what you wish for.
There’s unwelcome comedy in here too which just doesn’t fit in, especially with the ‘brothers’ JD (Ryan Hansen) and Brax (Jimmy O. Yang). Think Schwarzenegger and DeVito in Twins.
Lucy Hale as Melanie Cole and Portia Doubleday (Sloane Maddison) look like they’ve inadvertently wandered in off the set of an American Pie movie and even though Maggie Q’s character Gwen Olsen has a little more substance, we soon see her scared and stumbling through her bedroom in the dark, wearing just underwear.
The scenes where Gwen gets to live her fantasy and then realise it’s not the one she should be having are moving and thought-provoking.
Same goes for Austin Stowell as Patrick Sullivan, a young man who wants to emulate his late, heroic dad, played by Mike Vogel. They play out some emotive scenes together but the soppiness is overblown.
The fantasy of JD and Brax again visits the American Pie genre and, when it goes dark, the criminals threatening their very lives are just ridiculous. And the early scenes between Hale and Cole are straight out of one of the ‘Saw’ movies.
Admittedly, there are a couple of good twists but the ultimate one comes too late, doesn’t satisfy and saw me leaving the cinema glad I for one had got to the end of the fantasy.