Friday, April 4, 2008

Nim's Island

“Be the hero of your own life story.”

Abigail Breslin stars as Nim, a headstrong young girl with a good heart who lives on a deserted island with her reclusive scientist of a father (Gerard Butler). When her father is delayed on an expedition Nim asks for help from the most logical source - the hero of her favorite novels Alex Rover (also played by Gerard Butler).

Nim’s cries for help do not reach Alex Rover adventurer, but Alexandria Rover (Jodie Foster) author. Alexandria suffers from acute agorophobia, motion sickness, and a host of other issues which makes it impossible for her to help Nim, but she can’t turn the child down. And so with her make-believe hero in tow (also, quizzically, played by Butler) Alexandria begins a trip by boat, plane, and helicopter, to help.

Nim’s situation if further complicated by a cruise ship who decides to stop on the island and let its passengers enjoy the beach. Unwilling to allow this encroachment into her home, Nim forms a plan with the help of her animal companions to turn away the invaders.

Nim’s Island is filed with creatures including sea turtles, lizards, pelicans, and a sea lion. All of these animals of course have names, and Nim is able to communicate to them and teach them, most of the time. Think of it as a live action Disney cartoon. Although this ability is never explained (nor is the reasoning for Butler to be playing two characters - seriously, what’s up with that?), kids should enjoy it anyway. And this isn’t the type of film you go in looking for logic; at least it keeps the fart jokes to a minimum (one).

The movie, based off a children’s book, comes off as a mishmash from other projects - a bit Romancing the Stone, a bit Home Alone, and a also bits of Tarzan and Doctor Dolittle. Like most films with multiple influences it suffers from time to time.

Although Nim’s Island probably won’t wow young kids, they should have a good time, and at 95 minutes it isn’t too long for adults either. It’s got a few issues, but is better (including some impressive production design) than most films made strictly for young kids.

No comments: