The Island (1980) starring Michael Caine, David Warner, Angela Punch McGregor, Frank Middlemass, Don Henderson, Dudley Sutton, Colin Jeavons, Zakes Mokae directed by Michael Ritchie Movie Review

The Island (1980)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Michael Caine in The Island (1980)

Caine on the High Seas

Journalist Blair Maynard (Michael Caine) becomes aware of a series of boats going missing close to the Bermuda Triangle and convinces his editor to let him go and investigate. At the same time he decides to take his estranged son Justin (Jeffrey Frank) with him for a bit of a vacation. But whilst out on a fishing trip they get attacked by pirates who live on an island and have gone undetected for centuries, surviving by attacking ships which stray in to their waters and slaughtering anyone who comes across them. But they decide to spare Blair and his son as they see Justin as the perfect heir to the Pirate king whilst Blair can be useful to record their lives. With Justin being brainwashed by the pirates Blair must find some way to escape.

What a curious movie "The Island" is starting with a cheesy opening scene which culminates in a fishing boat being attacked by pirates in a canoe with a scene which could have come right out of a shock horror with an axe ending up embedded in a passengers head. But shortly after we have a curious scene in a gun shop which seems to be have thrown in to promote people's rights to own guns which involves young Justin being praised for his ability with a gun and then being bought one. The thing is that whilst this is incredibly clunky it is also strangely entertaining in that over the top horror combined with a forced message kind of way.

We get more of this through out, more horror, more forced acting, more force messages, more forced humour and sadly it all ends up quite clunky. By clunky I mean rushed and not flowing smoothly as if someone took an axe to either the script or the film to make it move quicker and keep the running length down. The end result is something which feels more of a C movie than a B movie and becomes entertaining for the bad stuff more than the good stuff.

I suppose I had better mention the acting considering this is a Michael Caine movie and Caine's performance is the best in the movie. But the early 80s was not a great time for Michael Caine movies and this one could be added to the what was he thinking pile as it isn't very good.

What this all boils down to is that "The Island" is one of those movies which isn't very good, there is no way of hiding that fact. Yet at the same time there is an element of being entertaining for being bad with a curious mix which at times seems family friendly and then the next schlock horror.