- Movie Rating -

The Island (1980)

| June 13, 1980

It is kind of a strange irony that within 48 hours I saw The Island and the Sunn Classic Pictures’ feux-documentary The Bermuda Triangle.  Both purports to deal with the strange phenomena of the area of water in the North Atlantic wherein ships and planes have disappeared for centuries.  Strangely enough, I found the documentary more compelling by telling me virtually nothing than The Island which comes up with a reason why the area is haunted.  That is the first and only time I have ever given Sunn Classic Pictures credit for anything.  That illustrates just how bad The Island really is.

Anyway, The Island is a stupid thriller that derailed Peter Benchley’s successful streak of adaptations of his work which had previously given us Jaws and The Deep and maybe he should have stopped there.  The Island stars Michael Caine, himself in a middle a rough patch after starring in bottom feeders like The Swarm and Beyond the Poseidon Adventure as Blair Maynard, a British journalist who travels to the Caribbean in order to solve the mystery of The Bermuda Triangle (who wouldn’t?) and because this is such an incredibly dangerous endeavor he brought along his young son (who does that!?)

His discovery is potentially interesting but played out as incredible stupid.  He finds an island in the middle of The Triangle where lives a band of French pirates who have been responsible for attacking and sinking ships for centuries and living of the plundered goods.  The plot gets going when the leader of the gang, named Nau (David Warner), kidnaps the young son and somehow convinces him to join their ranks.

Okay, there’s something here.  There’s a functional plot that was apparently enough to turn the book into a best seller (unread by me) but the movie never really explores this concept.  It wants to be a blood-gutted adventure but the action is so lazy and the performances so weary that you can never possibly get involved.  Plus, it looks bad.  This never feels like something made for theatrical distribution, more like a bad TV movie.  I can’t say much for the documentary but at least the actors hired for that that movie had to decency to look humiliated.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1980) View IMDB Filed in: Uncategorized