Nim’s Island: A 4 out of 10 Movie Review (I’m feeling kind today)
Nim’s Island is a sickeningly cute ‘family movie’ starring Gerard Butler (300, Phantom of the Opera), Jodie Foster (an original child star of Freaky Friday, The Silence of the Lambs) and new child star Abigail Breslin as Nim herself (No Reservations, Definitely Maybe).
Nim is a child who has grown up on a deserted island for the majority of her life. She is accompanied by her father (an American accented Gerard Butler with an obsession for water) and a range of animals that she depicts as pets. These include a seal (who has a unique ability to pass wind on cue), a turtle, a Bearded dragon (that’s a lizard if you don’t know) and a Pelican who has the intelligence of Skippy the Kangaroo. Along with these friends is her imagination that seems unhinged whilst reading books of an adventurer named Alex Rover. Instead of this seemingly intelligent girl thinking that Rover is in fact a character in a book, she is convinced that the author, who is actually called Alex Rover, is the very same hero from the stories she reads. However, Rover turns out to be an agoraphobic Jodie Foster who has so many neuroses; you’ll wonder how she evens copes with getting dressed each morning. Foster is accompanied by a Scottish accented Gerard Butler (her imagined hero from her books) who assists on her long journey to helping Nim after losing her father. Confused? Why? This is a kid’s film!
So let’s break it down for the people too lazy to read the synopsis: Nim (Breslin) is accompanied in this film by two Gerard Butlers, a neurotic author, a farting seal, a funny looking lizard, a turtle, and a Lassie-come-home style Pelican. The tale is written from three standpoints. Whilst Nim and Jodie Foster (accompanied by Scots Butler) make good protagonists, the American accented Butler does not. His role does not hold a great deal of weight and does not even the balance against Breslin and Foster’s roles. Nevertheless, each of these characters are fun to watch, however the comedy moments are taken up by animals (the seal scenes somewhat reminding me of the film Andre).
The fact is this film is about the journey and not the destination. Perhaps ninety percent of the film is taken up with journeying on Foster’s part, being stranded (Butler’s part) and Nim being Nim (for Breslin’s part. This is no bad thing in consideration, due to the fact that the “bad guys” are only Australians on vacation and the good guys are the animals living on the island.
Foster shows that she can play comedic roles as well as anyone, which is a good thing to see. Butler seems to be completely going against his role in 300; showing that he can play a kind, loving father and an action hero in a single movie. Breslin is a as predictable as ever, but as was mentioned in the No Reservations review (last week) she is very credible in each role.
As a family film, Nim’s island delivers. It doesn’t challenge you very much, doesn’t take you very far, sets us all up for a sequel and ends with you wanting more. I personally enjoyed it, despite its quite obvious flaws. It will never be anywhere near as smart as Stardust or as funny as Shrek, but overall an enjoyable watch.Rating: 3.5 out of 5