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Movie Review: Nim’s Island

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I had high hopes for Nim’s Island. Jodie Foster in a comedic role? Her acting in Freaky Friday is still way better than any of the versions that came after (sorry, Lohan, you don’t mess with the Foster). Years of doing serious roles in films like Flightplan, The Accused, The Brave One, Silence of the Lambs – how refreshing would it be to see Foster act silly and make the audience laugh again like she did as a child actress? Based on a popular children’s novel of the same name, I was ready for a great movie ride with an oversized tub of popcorn and a soda no single person should drink alone, but alas I was sadly disappointed.

Foster is Alex(andra) Rover, a famous but agoraphobic adventure writer whose main character, the aptly named Alex Rover (Gerard Butler) – an Indiana Jones-type hero – travels the world seeking mischief and mayhem. She, on the other hand, has panic attacks just trying to open the door and walk the 10 feet outside to pick up her mail.

Rover is stuck on her current manuscript with an editor named Buffy breathing down her neck to meet her deadlines. As she does research on volcanoes on the Internet, she emails marine biologist Jack Rusoe (also played by Gerard Butler), whose National Geographic article on volcanoes has piqued her interest. Unbeknownst to her, it is Jack’s daughter, Nim (Abigail Breslin) who answers. Rover finds out that Nim is all alone on the island. Her father has gone out to sea on an expedition to discover a new form of plankton. Only supposed to be gone for two days, Nim fears that her father has been lost at sea.

Fearing for Nim’s safety, Rover tries everything short of going to the island herself to make sure Nim is okay. When her only option really is to go to the island herself, she reluctantly goes, egged on by the imaginary incarnation of her novels.

While the film is cute and totally family fare, I wished for more of a story, even more scenes with cringe-worthy fish-out-of-water moments for the super germaphobic writer. The scenes with Foster in the airport were really just the tip of the iceberg for some potentially hysterical moments.

Like a kiddie version of Romancing the Stone, it would have been nice to see a few more storybook scenes with the Indiana Jones-Alex Rover played by Gerard Butler also. Some gratuitous shirtless scenes featuring Butler would have been nice eye candy for the female adults in the audience! Because, come on, let’s be honest – I didn’t pay $9.50 to see Abigail Breslin play with a sea lion, though Breslin is proving to be a far better actress than Dakota Fanning.

Nim’s Island
will be a cute DVD rental, but save those dollars and movie passes for the big summer blockbusters.

Nim's Island artwork courtesy of Walden Media/20th Century Fox
Gerard Butler Photo: (c) Reuters

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About BeTheBuddha

  • xsershx

    i totally disagree about abigail being better than dakota!i mean come on as if playing a child on an island is hard!and then we have little miss sunshine,shitest movie ever!i have nothing against abigail but she will never ever be as good as dakota!dakota’s a ledgned and always will be!

  • leoislovex3

    ^^Both Dakota and Abigail are wonderful actresses, you can’t compare the two, it’s just not fair with them being two successful child actresses. One with an Oscar nomination and the other with a career to kill for. Little Miss Sunshine was a wonderful movie which was nominated for an Oscar so it’s obviously not bad (in response to the above comment)…and Abby is making her name in Hollywood so she is obviously a great actress like Dakota is. But we can’t call either of them legends yet…they aren’t even 18.

  • leoislovex3

    And might I add, Abby had some crying scenes in Nim’s Island…it ain’t all easy. I thought it was a rather cute movie, and a different role for Abby to be playing (I mean, come on, she was what, 11 when she made it? The girl wants to have fun).

  • Toni

    Freaky Friday wasn’t the last time Foster was in a comedic role prior to Nim’s Island. She had a light-hearted role as a bubbly but pickpocketing love interest in Maverick, opposite Mel Gibson.

  • Connie WANG

    Toni – you’re absolutely right. I was racking my brain trying to think of a comedy she had done as an adult and couldn’t think of any! :oP

    Thanks for the input!

  • aaa

    come on they are but very good but for me dakota fanning is much better than abigail she has done much harder movies when she was so young and really the chivements they have complete and their career shoulod be taked better and dakota is on new moooon