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TOP 100 MOVIES in 2008!
Nim (Breslin) and her marine biologist father (Butler) live alone on a remote island that is all theirs alone. That is, until Dad goes missing and young Nim is forced to call on the help of her hero, adventure writer Alex Rover (Foster). But Alex is really Alexandra Rover, a borderline agoraphobic who hasn't left her house in weeks. To get to Nim, Alex must become the hero she writes about.
Sometimes, a movie comes along whose premise is utterly charming -- a young girl whose imagination is only outstripped by her actual situation, living a fairytale life on a tropical island. There's the potential for romance between her lonely but highly attractive widower father and a sprightly but quirky heroine.
Add to that some heavyweight casting (Jodie Foster is always strong; Breslin outstrips Dakota Fanning in range; Butler has always had more acting muscle than the obviousness of his physical muscle demonstrated in '300') and you should have a recipe for a great treat for both kids and adults.
Unfortunately, the dialogue here is so weak and ridiculous that you're left rooting not for Jodie to complete the transformation to 'hero of her own story' (a tired cliche continually trotted out as if you need the theme of the film to be any more obvious) but for her to stop the whole procedure, call for a rewrite with her famous Hollywood power, and go sit in her trailer until the new pages come.
The characters are continually saying what they're thinking, or, even worse, narrating their own actions. It's so bad that even kids in the auditorium weren't buying it, and if you can't even charm the youngsters past the flaws in a fantasy, you're in big trouble.This film has it all, from talking animals to evil pirates (the modern sort, who run a cruise line for rude tourists), volcanoes, high seas adventures, and the triumph of the human spirit. Unfortunately, it's really hard to care.
1/5 for a potentially 4/5 concept with a 5/5 cast
Rates a big minus one on the disappointment meter.