The Island - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Island Reviews

Page 1 of 9
August 4, 2017
Ridiculous, but entertaining tale of Michael Caine being captured by modern day pirates. Now these are not AK-47 Somali pirates you see in Captain Phillips. These are Blackbeard/Jack Sparrow style of pirates who have been hiding out for generations in the Caribbean! And there in lies the pirates' dilemma. They have been isolated too long and are now too inbred and are need to freshen up their gene pool. It's not Caine's DNA they want, but it's his son's. They only keep Ciane alive so not to alienate his son while they brainwash him into embracing their old timey pirate ways. David Warner, one of my favorite actors, plays the pirate leader, which is a lot of fun. There's also Zakes Mokae in a small supporting role. The film was written by "Jaws" author Peter Benchley based upon his novel and was directed by Michael Ritchie, who directed everything from classic comedies like "The Bad News Bears" (which I consider the greatest sports film of all time) to "Prime Cut" (a fun pulpy Lee Marvin crime film), but this film ended up being a huge flop. Ritchie delivers a lot more violence than I'd expected, which made this seem almost more of a horror film than a thriller, which I kind of liked, but which I'm sure will put off many viewers, even if they got past absurd premiss that there might be Mennoniet buccaneers. Reflecting on this film, I think an argument could be made that this was an early example of the torture porn formula that would come into vogue about 20 years later with Extreme Asian cinema and Eli Roth's "Hostel." This film doesn't feature excruciating torture scenes, but it does have a set up that seemed similar to a lot of the bad English language torture films like "Touristas" or "Wolf Creek" with a vacations-gone-wrong formula leading to torture. This film really is a mess, but I did enjoy it in a campy way. It's hard to resist seeing pirates sail and old timey ship toward a modern day vessels and then lay siege with with muskets, grappling hooks, canons, and swords, all set to a fine Ennio Morricone score. If you're expecting a quality thriller, don't watch this film. If you're in the mood for a ridiculous and ridiculously violent film, you might enjoy this one. I got three stars worth of entertainment out of this film, though I doubt most people will enjoy it as much as I did.
July 22, 2017
This Movie Was 34 Years Old In 2014.
Super Reviewer
June 1, 2017
You know a movie is good when it's almost over or over but you wish it wasn't.Time just flew by when I watched The Island.Right from the start I was hooked.I can't believe it bombed at the box office when it 1st came out (I wonder why?) I also can't believe it's not more well known than it is.I only heard about it because I was flipping through channels, looking for a movie to watch & came across it.I've never heard of it before today.
March 27, 2017
Michael Caine plays a reporter who runs afoul of modern day pirates when investigating a rash of ship disappearances in the Caribbean. His son tags along with him and the pirates attempt to make him one of them. This film came with high commercial hopes since it's an adaptation of a Peter Benchley novel, but it tanked, mostly because it's not a very good film. The biggest problem is the pirates who largely come off as more goofy than threatening. A lot of great actors, lead by David Warner, fail to menace Caine convincingly or do much of anything interesting. Michael Ritchie is a really odd choice to direct this, and I'm sure some of the bizarrely unsuccessful tone can be credited to this choice.
½ August 9, 2016
This is one of those movies I loved when I was a kid. It really deserves to be rereleased again. Definitely worth a watch.
April 21, 2016
The Island (1980) ??
Ludicrous thriller involving Caine's search for his son on a island compiled of ancient pirates! Brain-dead fare has lots of explicit gore . . . for those who like that sort of thing.
½ March 30, 2015
From the period of Caine's career where he seemed to say yes to anything, especially if it was set in an exotic local. From the man who wrote Jaws, and producers who made it, there are some interesting ideas buried in here but the execution and direction are poor.
September 30, 2014
Guilty Pleasures time .
From the Producing Team that bought you Jaws comes this bizzare and funny Movie.
Ok so compared to Jaws this film is a bit silly but there is plenty to keep you watching as Caine battles Pirates.
This of course was the period when Caine was doing it for the money rather than the art.
But trust me when you have a film where David Warner plays the leader of a band of demented pirates who try to brainwash Caine's son and a very funny storming of a yacht by the pirate band you wonder if director Michael Richie saw the script realised it was tosh and went all out to put his tongue in his cheek.
The film is of course very bad but not in a Michael Bay stupid way ,the silliness of it all makes it all the more fun.
March 15, 2014
Saw this at a drive-in when I was 13. Those were the days.
January 15, 2014
Another To-Watch Pile selection that I checked out in advance of listening to a podcast review. I think I might've liked this a tad more had it maintained the supernatural feel of the first attack, but knowing that it's a human force that seafarers are up against sort of demystified things a bit.

½ January 3, 2014
The Island caught my eye due to the presence of Michael Caine and the fact that it was one of the first films to be nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor and Worst Director.

Based on a Peter Benchley novel who was the author of Jaws, The Island similarly explores the darkness of the deep and opens with characters being killed while stuck out at sea, so its rather nostalgic. If this was intended to mimick the style of Jaws, then bravo Michael Ritchie. I picked up on that.
But after an excessive period of waiting with little stimulation and just a lot of crappy dull dynamics, I stood up, looked at the TV screen and said "This is sh*t".
Little goes on in The Island, and what does is generic and dull. Its all been done before in much better films, not atrocities that waste the talents of Michael Caine with some of Michael Ritchie's most inferior direction.
The Island had a cool DVD Cover and decent set up premise, but its lacking in originality, thrills and practically any good quality with the exception of Michael Caine's presence.
The script is also bland and full of excessive jokes about the ex wife and mother of the two main characters which are never funny and fall flat, just as the plot and the rest of the film does.
And for an adaptation of a Peter Benchely novel, I don't know if the book or just the film is crap but somebody is seriously to blame for this boring and overly dull atrocity which wastes out time like it wastes Michael Caine's talents and an R18+ Rating for some reason.
December 11, 2013
After a jumbled and woefully written opening, Ritchie's pirate thriller finds its feet when it arrives on the titular location. From there, some well staged, almost tongue in cheek set pieces involving pirate raids on various ships, alongside a Morricone score that goes from Williams-like whimsical to tense and unnerving, and decent performances from its adequate cast, especially the wacky & surreal mix of mad pirates, make for a fine time.
November 9, 2013
Over the years, I keep trying to find SOMEONE who has it (Block Buster, now Netflix) and have not found it....until now. I saw it when it came out and was taken by it. It really grabbed me that a low tech group of pirates could accomplish with steatlth what they did. I really loked it. Dean Olson
½ October 21, 2013
The pirates in The Island are not particularly scary or menacing, and the plot is too inconsistent and silly.
September 23, 2013
Great example of Michael Caine angle on life: "take all jobs". Maybe some are not worth the effort.
August 20, 2013
Book was way better. Read this story, don't watch it.
June 14, 2013
Like Lost and the beach rolled into one
June 7, 2013
Probably one of Michael Caine's worst movies, if not his worst..

Could have been an interesting and gritty movie, but some of the direction is plain bizarre. Basic plot was good, and the initial set-up was quite gritty, however, from a point it becomes rather frivolous. One moment the pirates are the bad guys, killing people in cold blood, next moment we're almost expected to like them and sympathise with them. From that point, every time the pirates attack a ship, a rather jaunty soundtrack is playing in the background, as if this is a kid's movie, or a comedy! But then they go and kill people, rather graphically.

Plot does become rather random towards the end, too.

Caine's performance is OK, especially considering what little he had to work with. Some of the pirates are a bit over-the-top though.
½ May 18, 2013
Pretty dated & dodgy now! Maybe not so much in 1980, but it's quite unrealistic that a bunch of 'pirates' could live in the Caribbean unmolested! Not very gory or violent, until the end, to justify a R-rating either, and not terribly scary to be a horror/thriller or camp enough to be funny. Michael Caine doesn't really have too much to do either, even though the film's about 25min too long.
May 15, 2013
Strange happenings in the Caribbean--Offbeat fun as Caine mutinies!!
Page 1 of 9