Island, The (1980)

Reviewed By Brian McKay
Posted 09/02/02 05:34:06

"I am the Pirate King!"
4 stars (Worth A Look)

One of author Peter Benchley's better efforts, "The Island" is a fairly intriguing and suspenseful notion. It's also probably about the last decent thing I remember seeing Michael Caine in.

The Island certainly has an intersting premise - a group of ragtag modern-day pirates, who are descendents of ancient pirates, live in a primitive caribbean island society, eschewing most forms of modern technology and preying on whatever civilian vessels dare to enter their path. They're kind of like Amish . . . only they're pirates.

Blair Maynard (Michael Caine) and his young son are the unfortunate latest victims of the scurvy dogs. When their boat is sacked and they are captured, they are dragged off to The Island to become slaves. The pirate Leader, Nau (David Warner) wants to break the boy's will so he can turn him into a willing protege'. Caine is kept alive because he killed one of the pirates when they attacked his boat, leaving the pirate's wife a widow. He is therefore required to become the widow's new husband and provide for her, according to some ridicuous pirate tradition that was probably stolen from a ridiculous Fremen tradition in Frank Herbert's "Dune". Luckily for him, the girl ain't half bad looking, and is ultimately willing to help Maynard try and get his son back and escape.

Drive-In Triple Feature Picks for The Island

Dead Calm - plays out like an 80's hitchcock thriller on the high seas, plus a younger Nicole Kidman's perky little rack (which is still quite perky).

Night Moves - Decent 70's detective thriller with Gene Hackman as the dick in question. Some cool underwater scenes, including a creepy dead body that's been gnawed on by the fishies. Also, Melanie Griffith in her first role as nearly naked teenage slut.

There's some decent suspense, some cool scenes of those sneaky pirates boarding and pillaging hapless civilian vessels, and an enjoyable .50 caliber smackdown near the end aboard a captured Coast Guard cutter. What the hell, it's worth a one-shot rental.

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