Has your fantasy ever been suggesting a production company to give you bunch of money to go to Fiji and that in return you only need to shoot a film while you’re on vacation there? Well that is the only way I can think of director/co-writer Jeff Wadlow getting to do Fantasy Island after having such an abysmal track records with his previous work. And what might as well have happened is that certain someone looked through the archives to find old IP to reboot and ”inspired” by it, wrote a script during one drunken night in a bar with couple of their friends.
The film barely manages to create a first and last name for the characters as they are filled nothing but air in their lungs. There are five new people that come to the island to have their fantasies fulfilled and even with only five the writers manage to find the most generic ones: revenge on a high school bully, wanting to be in military and experiencing a rave party with half-dressed guys and girls. There is one, Gwen’s (played by Maggie Q), that has at least some effort but that gets smashed into pieces by others later on. Wadlow’s directing choices make no sense neither both linearly or Inception-dream-level-like which it tries in the end, there’s simply no order in anything that happens.
As far as its genre goes, it completely fails to be horror which it goes for the most. Everything is lame even for PG: there is dripping sounds, black goo coming from eyes and people ”vanishing” (they literally just walk off the frame, what?). At times it tries to be soap opera-like as far as I understand. Every nine minutes-or-so there’s the most fake sentimental monologue from everyone trying to explain their vague backstory and it just comes off amateur both in script and acting. The only little saving grace Fantasy Island has it that it’s filmed in Fiji which offers some beautiful wilderness. That makes it feel more like an uninspired Jumanji movie rather than a messy action horror which it eventually is.
Smileys: It was shot in Fiji so there’s that
Frowneys: Characterisation, directing, dialogue, atmosphere, screenplay
Since I only mentioned one actor, please someone get Michael Pena and Maggie Q out of here. The rest of the cast you can leave on the island.