Nim's Island

So I allowed myself to be talked into going to this little fantasy... I can't even pretend I am sorry, because it features Gerard Butler ("Dear Frankie" and "Phantom of the Opera") in two roles. In one, he is the widowed father of Amy Breslin ("Little Miss Sunshine," "Definitely, Maybe" and "No Reservations"), a home-schooled girl living the good life with him on a remote island in the South Asia Sea. In the other role, he is Alex Rover, the swashbuckling hero of a fictitious series Amy reads incessantly, the alter ego of an author named Alexandra Rover, played by Jodie Foster ("Panic Room," "Flightplan," "Inside Job" and "The Brave One").

To me, an unrepentant fan of Mr. Butler, I found it to be extremely gratifying to have him on screen at least 75% of the time, particularly when he was buckling his swash as Alex Rover, because they used every cliché in the book to make him just like Indiana Jones (sans bullwhip)!

Jodie Foster's author seems to be suffering from a recent case of agoraphobia, she hasn't been out of her San Francisco home for several months. They never offer any sort of explanation for her condition, and in a movie this removed from reality, we don't need one. When she finally does venture out, it is to save the little girl who seems to be stranded by herself on a remote island, injured and defenseless... (They communicated over the Internet.) Her intentions are good, and, as a recent traveler, I really appreciated watching the rigors of modern-day travel; ...the security systems, the 3-oz. limit on liquids (she was bringing a year's supply of hand sanitizers), schlepping the suitcases, feeling crammed into airliners, etc. When she does make it to the island, her greeting isn't anything like she expected.

You are treated to Disneyfied natural disasters, a volcanic eruption, an earthquake, a typhoon, and, worst of all, an invasion of tourists. They have anthropomorphized the critters on the island, the iguanas, the sea turtles, the sea lion/seal, etc., so I repeat, this is a fantasy...e.g., an albatross carries a toolkit to a sailor stranded at sea.

But I had almost two full hours to ogle Gerard Butler, so it wasn't all bad...