Fantasy Island (2020)

Can you imagine taking a concept as rife with genre potential as the titular ’70s show, giving it a decent-sized budget as well as an absolutely stunning shooting locale, and ending up with something as toothless and neutered as this?? It’s like the movie has no clue what it wants to be when it grows up: It’s a lighthearted horror yarn but it’s also a hardcore one, it’s an adventure movie but also a war drama, a revenge tale mixed with an unearned redemption one, not to mention a bunch of unreliable narrators and absolutely zero likable characters. Additionally, there’s the PG-13 rating: A number of times the movie comes close to growing balls (in particular during an early scene that calls to mind the gruesomeness and intensity of the “Saw” movies but chickens out like it’s a “Scooby-Doo” episode instead of a studio horror movie), but always figures out a way to fumble its way to the finish line. By the time the first hour is over you’re completely done with this, and there’s still an interminable 40ish minutes left. If a movie can make the usually-electric Michael Peña into a somnambulant, anonymous baddie who registers no menace, aggression or power, then it’s just not worth your time, you know?

Rating: ★★ (out of 5)

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