JULES VERNE'S MYSTERIOUS
Jules Verne's Mysterious Island (2005)
Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Danielle Calvert, Gabrielle Anwar,
Vinnie Jones, Omar Gooding, Patrick Stewart
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Format: Color, NTSC
giant mutated rats, snakes and spiders the size of a Volkswagen Beetle;
volcano (once you see it in a background shot you just know that it is
going to erupt during the movie's climax -
and if it doesn't you want your money back!);
a daring hot air balloon escape from a Confederate POW camp;
Vinnie Jones as a pirate captain taking his performance cue from a
pantomime he has probably seen recently;
Gabrielle Anwar in a dress that shows loads of cleavage that would no
doubt have had her marked as a harlot in Civil War-era
Captain Picard, sorry, Patrick Stewart as Captain Nemo;
loads of cheesy looking and obvious CGI critter effects;
some stunning locales even though you've already seen it in The Beach
and that Bond movie with Christopher Lee as the villain.
Yes, Mysterious Island should be loads of fun, but ultimately the
material isn't really suited to the TV mini-series format as is the case
with this show made especially for the Hallmark Channel.
It is sort of a sequel to Jules
Verne's 20, 000 Leagues Under the Sea featuring a disparate group being
stranded on an island inhabited by giant mutated creatures as well as the
long lost Nemo (no, not the little fishy from the Pixar movie you
dingbat!) who is building an ultimate weapon to end all wars (I suppose it
must have made sense at the time).
As a brisk 90 minute or even two hour show Mysterious Island would
have gone over a lot better, but being stretched out over three hours as
is the case here presents a problem.
There is just one creature attack too many. One can imagine the script
writing committee going:
SCREENWRITER # 1: We need some action here. Things are dragging
and we need to fill up some
SCREENWRITER # 2: I know! Let's have our heroes being attacked by a
SCREENWRITER # 3: Oh groan, we've already had them being attacked
by a giant raven.
SCREENWRITER # 1: How about a giant octopus.
SCREENWRITER # 3: Groan . . .
SCREENWRITER # 2: No, no, wait. I like it! How about . . .
And so forth. But all these filler scenes get tired and pretty soon one is
wondering what other movies Russell Mulcahy has directed after
Highlander except for this one . . .
THE DISC: We get some short interviews with the director and main
cast. Thrown in for good measure are the trailer and a trailer for another
Hallmark Channel movie, Supernova.
RECOMMENDATION: One probably shouldn't attempt to watch
Mysterious Island in one sitting as I did. You?d
probably be better off spreading the experience over two evenings in a row
instead, which is probably why the DVD is presented in its original two-parter