Nim's Island Movie Review

Nim's Island Movie Review
Cast: Abigail Breslin, Jodie Foster, Gerard Butler
Director: Mark Levin, Jennifer Flackett
Screenplay: Joseph Kwong & Paul Mazur and Mark Levin & Jennifer Flackett (based on the book by Wendy Orr)
Genre: Adventure/Family
Rated: PG Mild Themes
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Released: 10 April 2008

Be The Hero Of Your Own Story.

Anything can happen on Nim's Island, a magical place ruled by a young girl's imagination. It is an existence that mirrors that of her favorite literary character, Alex Rover- the world's greatest adventurer. But Alexandra, the author of the Rover books, leads a reclusive life in the big city. When Nim's father goes missing from their island, a twist of fate brings her together with Alexandra. Now, they must draw courage from their fictional hero, Alex Rover, and find strength in one another to conquer Nim's Island.

My Verdict:
11-year-old Nim Rusoe (Abigail Breslin) lives an isolated existence on an island in with her scientist father Jack Rusoe (Gerard Butler). They are mostly happy, even without Nim's mother who disappeared at sea when Nim was young. Nim's friends are the local wildlife including a sea-lion, a pelican and a lizard and she fills her days helping her father and indulging in her favourite author Alex Rover, adventure hero extraordinaire.

When Jack sets out to sea to harvest a rare plankton, Nim convinces him that she will manage at home for 2 nights as she has access to satellite phone and their computer (explained away by their solar power supply). A storm hits, Jack goes missing and Nim slowly loses her confidence. Succumbing to her isolation, Nim emails Alex Rover (Jodie Foster) who has requested information about a local volcano that she is researching for her latest book. Before long, Alex is on her way to help Nim find her father which proves difficult as she suffers from borderline agorophobia. Nim thinks Alex is a he and is mortified when she discovers Alex really is Alexandra and rejects her but this soon takes a back door to the looming tourists that have discovered the island and Alex and Nim set about to find Nim's father and save the island, the developing relationship between Alexandra and Nim being crucial to the outcome.

Nim's Island is pretty much an easy-going formulaic Disney-style family adventure. There are plenty of characters easy to relate to and some cute animal antics, not always believable but still passable. Abigail Breslin is adequate as Nim and spends much time in conversation with her animal friends, something many children would relate to. She commands much screen time and it's not too much an onerous task to watch her. Gerard Butler has enough strength and rough edges to carry the protective father whilst doubling up as the imaginary Alex Rover for Alexandra Rover, getting to use some comedic skills. Jodie Foster has taken a change of direction here getting to play some light comedy with the role of the tense and uptight Alexandra which is a departure from many of her previous hardened roles which might be something to get used to, for her and the audience. There is a cliché of tourists that arrive with the captain of the cruise ship (Michael Carman) doing an (intentional?) Pirates of the Caribbean Captain Barbossa impersonation.

Often stretching the limits of credibility, Nim's Island is still a childrens paradise with plenty to entertain, a few minor scary moments that won't leave lingering fears for younger children and enough moments to smile about. Filmed in Queensland, Australia, Nim's Island is one place that looks good enough to visit, albeit for just a short trip.

Rating : ***

Christina Bruce


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