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Michael Caine stars as Blair Maynard, an investigative writer who takes on one of the most baffling mysteries: the disappearance of boats and their passengers in the Caribbean. During his investigation, he and his son are captured by raiding pirates, led by David Warner (Time After Time). When his son is converted to the pirates barbarian ways and turns against him, Blair must come to his rescue in this action-packed thriller written by Peter Benchley (Jaws).
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Yes, it's about modern-day pirates living on an uncharted island, making a living attacking and sinking passing boats. What gets missed in the spectacle is the subplot of a father's love for his estranged son, which by itself makes "The Island" worth watching.
The movie has plot holes wide enough to sail the USCGC "Dauntless" through them. Yes, this was the latter part of the last century, but hundreds of modern-day pirates supporting themselves by attacking and sinking yachts AND escaping notice for 300 years? Simple nonsense, as in all film, but it doesn't quite get over the suspension of disbelief hurdle.
It's unbelievably violent, and goes over the top (especially the rape of Michael Caine - yes you read that right.) That said, Director Michael Ritchie, while not in danger of receiving any academy awards, built up enough tension for the most satisfying climax of the decade when Michael Caine finally emerges victorious over the bad guys.
As Michael Caine himself has said, he saw the final film product, and it was terrible. However, he saw the house that it bought, and it is terrific! I wish I could say it was campy, in a "so bad it's good" kind of way, but it's just depressing.
OK, there is one very compelling reason to purchase: Ennio Morricone's score. It has the 1980s "slasher" motif for danger sequences, but it has an uplifting maritime symphonic theme for seagoing parts of the film. (We'll ignore that this happy music is juxtaposed with throat slashing violence). It is a surprisingly listenable score, given the crappy film.
But unless you like film scores, you should probably avoid.
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