I am far too young to have seen the original TV show from the 70s, but I am pretty certain it was NOTHING like this. And that watching this will make fans of that show, incredibly sad.
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Screenwriter: Jillian Jacobs, Christopher Roach
Starring: Michael Peña, Maggie Q, Lucy Hale
Genre: Horror, Mystery
Runtime: 109 Minutes
Rating: 2.5 Stars
Reviewed by: Pearl
The premise was good, the casting was pretty good, the performances were pretty good. So why oh why did this film leave me so very bored for the majority of it. This film just felt really long, there was a definite pacing issue, and that is really what ruined the film for me, I just wanted it to be over.
After winning a contest, five tourists arrive on Fantasy Island, and are promised that their wildest fantasies can come true there, and there is only one rule. They have to see their fantasies through to its natural conclusion. To begin with, everyone thinks this will be amazing, but it doesn’t take very long for their fantasies to take a dark turn and they all end uo with more then what they bargained for.
I don’t know if this film knew what it wanted to be. A horror? A Thriller? Comedy? It dabbles in a lot of these things but doesn’t really commit to any of them. If it had chosen to go cheesier and funnier, or darker and more horror-like then either way it would have been a better film. Instead it dipped it’s toe in several genres and it didn’t excel at being any one thing.
On the whole the performances by all the actors involved were very good, if incredibly stereotypical. Michael Peña gives a great charismatic and sinister performance as the island’s host Mr Roarke. It’s a nice change of pace to see him do something non comedic, especially when surrounded by so many larger then life characters in this film. Maggie Q is probably the scene stealer here. She stands out in every scene she is in, and that may be down to the fact her character has the most to do, has the most complex story and is given the most interesting story. The other guests n the island are all a little two-dimensional. The two brothers JD and Brax were insufferable. I hated nearly all their scenes and just wanted to tell them to grow up, act their age and it takes a big tragedy in the film in order to make them do that.
The twist at the end is slightly too well telegraphed. If you have seen any films of this type, as soon as Maggie Q starts digging around, you can see exactly where this film is heading. And while I didn’t guess the ending exactly, I was pretty close.
Not a terrible way to spend two hours, it’s entertaining enough, just don’t expect it to do anything that you haven’t seen done a dozen times before.
Fantasy Island is out in UK cinemas Now!