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Sabtu, 31 Mei 2008

Nim's Island (2008)

If you were stranded on a desert island, having Little Miss Sunshine for company might just save your life. Likewise this kiddies' adventure yarn is pulled from the depths of mediocrity by Oscar nominee Abigail Breslin who stars as the eponymous Nim. She isn't just a smiley face but a gutsy heroine who lives in the jungle, eats bugs for dinner and Australian tourists for breakfast. It's like a junior version of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, without the whining.

Concerns about hygiene and the high price of fame are left to Jodie Foster playing Alex Rover, the JK Rowling of adventure novelists - and OCD sufferer supreme. She is Nim's only hope for survival - or so she likes to believe - after the girl's father Jack (Gerard Butler) is lost at sea. After a brief exchange of emails (a wireless connection, we presume), Alex dares to venture beyond the city and embark on a rescue mission. In many ways, this is Alex's story of triumph over adversity while Nim makes do and Jack busies himself trying to mend his leaky boat.

If only co-directors Jennifer Flackett and Mark Levin (Little Manhattan) had thought to jettison some of Butler's scenes, the story might've flowed a lot more easily and generated more tension. As it is, the intertwining of three points of view feels messy, and there is no real sense of jeopardy. On top of that, Butler has a second role as Alex Rover's storybook superman: the voice in her head that eggs her on. It's another bit of scrappy storytelling (he's also called Alex Rover) that leaves little doubt about Jack's fate. Thankfully he does make a good comic foil to Foster's twittering bundle of nerves, and there is fun to be had as Nim strives to protect her island from a cruise-line invasion. A performing sea-lion is thrown in to distract you from any other flaws, but it's the sunny, strong-willed Miss Breslin who truly keeps the film anchored.

Nim's Island is out in the UK on 2nd May 2008.

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