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Chaste Teen Romance Blossoms On A Deserted Island: Corny Fun For Free On TV, Not Necessarily A Must-Buy DVD
on December 19, 2012
Admit it, you were clamoring for a new interpretation of "The Blue Lagoon!" The 1980 original with Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins is probably more notorious than it is actually good, but that's okay. It tapped into a primal innocence and a fascination with sexual awakening that seems to have connected with viewers over time. In many ways, I think that revisiting this topic might be a good idea. A modern telling might bring a bit more frankness to the table. If, however, you are going to modernize a tale this reliant on sexual themes--the Lifetime network probably isn't the best bet to make the subject compelling or believable. "Blue Lagoon: The Awakening," thus, plays more like a chaste opposites-attract teen picture with a dash of Swiss Family Robinson style survival thrown in. Nothing of consequence is really at stake and the conclusion is never in doubt.
Indiana Evans plays a privileged teen beauty queen who happens to just fall off a boat. We won't discuss the specifics, you've simply got to see it to believe it! Luckily, high school slacker Brenton Thwaites is on hand to keep her company. Fortuitously, he is equipped with a surprising number of survival skills so that the two of them can make the best of a bad situation. Stranded for two months, the pair who have little in common start to grow closer. Will they find true love? Can they survive a wild animal attack? Will Thwaites ever show signs of facial hair? Everything is so by the numbers, I guess you will already know the answers to these questions. The kids are likable enough, the screenplay just doesn't give them much to do other than to act rather silly. When the climatic scene arrives, it lacks any impact. It's like the movie just ran out of time, so they slapped a conclusion on. If that wasn't bad enough, though, we now return (very unnecessarily) to high school for an even bigger anticlimax.
This being Lifetime, though, I did enjoy some of the more fascinating bad movie moments. Denise Richards plays Evans' mother in a series of odd choices. After poorly executing a terrible emotional outpouring, she then remains somewhat disconnected from the realities of the situation. The screenplay, once again, doesn't have the ambition to try to dig into actual emotion. But "Blue Lagoon: The Awakening" doesn't have particularly lofty goals and that saves it somewhat. It is a bit of lightweight escapism. As it never feels remotely real, there is corny fun to be had in the watching. While it's easy enough to appreciate some of the movie's silliness, I'd best recommend that you catch this for free on TV when you have the chance as opposed to purchasing the DVD! KGHarris, 12/12.