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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Fantasy Island 2020 * * 1/2 Stars

Fantasy IslandDirector: Jeff Wadlow
Year: 2020
Rated PG-13
Rating: * * 1/2 Stars
Cast: Maggie Q., Lucy Hale, Michael Pena

"Da plane! Da plane!". That's the famous quote from the 70's television series Fantasy Island. Now over forty years later, we have Fantasy Island the movie. Fantasy Island the movie is like the PG-13 rated horror version of the TV show. I also got a sort of tingling, Twilight Zone/Flatliners vibe as I watched it.

2020's Fantasy Island contains actors you thought were kinda out of the business at this point (Maggie Q., Michael Rooker, Kim Coates). Fantasy Island also makes these actors seem goofy while they play down to their forgone potential. The film is about five linked people who visit a fictitious island only to have their fantasies turn into wretched nightmares.

Campy, creepy, stupidly humored, tone confused, and lushly story boarded (at least until the final act), Fantasy Island entered theaters this month with little hype, little marketing, and a kind of dated approach. It's eerie fun for most of the way though and it's a long shot but the midnight movie circuit might be calling Fantasy Island in years to come.

Directed by a guy known for action and/or horror flicks (Jeff Wadlow) and garnering a running time of 109 minutes, Fantasy Island is kinda wishy-washy about what it really wants to be. For my money, it's outmoded tripe for anyone nostalgic about the late Ricardo Montalban (or the late Herve Villechaize). It's also B-movie tripe for anyone who dug the revised movie versions of Charlie's Angels, CHiPs, and/or Baywatch.

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Helmer Wadlow fashions Fantasy Island as a fast-paced mutt of a film with twists and turns thrown in just for the heck of it. He likes to pull the rug out from underneath you but it feels like it's strictly for show.

"Dear Mr. Fantasy", I liked various moments of savage buffoonery in Fantasy Island but I'm giving it a rating of 2 and a half stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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