Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cutthoat Island

There wasn't anything on tv so we pulled out Cutthroat Island. It was the first time we watched it since it came out in 1995. Along with Hook (1991), this was the main pirate movie from the 1990s and it was a box office bomb. What happened?

The movie itself isn't bad. The plot moves along. The acting is ok. Geena Davis is believable as a woman pirate. She is around six feet tall and an Olympic athlete (in archery). The sets, costumes, and ships all look great. The action sequences are a bit over-the-top with exploding cannon balls but they aren't laugh-out-loud bad.

Probably the concept itself was flawed. Davis had just married action director, Renny Harlin and they wanted to do a movie together.

I don't know why they chose a costume piece. Neither one had done one before. Davis was a minor box office draw. She had been in several movies that made money but she never had top billing and she was usually overshadowed by her co-stars. Harlin's career was pretty limited at the time with a flop or two (The Adventures of Ford Fairlane) and a couple of razzies.

Put it all together - little-known stars and director and a genre that hadn't produced a hit since the 1950s along with a big budget and you have a spectacular failure in the making.

No wonder people expected Pirates of the Caribbean to flop.

Regardless, it is a watchable movie. Several bits were lifted from the PotC ride. There is a treasure in a cave with skulls scattered around and a city reminiscent of Pirate's version of Tortuga.

If you need a pirate fix this will satisfy you.

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