2020. PG-13. 109 mins. Directed by Jeff Wadlow
TV shows being adapted into feature length movies is nothing new. Sometimes you get a nice surprise like 21 and 22 Jump Street. Other times you get something that looked good on paper but ended up failing miserably like The Last Airbender. Fantasy Island is the latest show to get this treatment and production company Blumhouse has decided to try it's luck with the adaptation. Where does Fantasy Island fall in the many TV to movie transfers? Unfortunately it falls into The Last Airbender category.
Five strangers head to Fantasy Island, a luxurious island where guests can live out one of their life long fantasies. The island is run by Mr. Roarke (Michael Pena) and he puts forth the rules for everyone when they arrive, each visitor is allowed one fantasy each and they each must see their fantasy until the end. Our guests set off to their fantasies where things almost seem too good to be true. As their fantasies progress the guests start to realize that there is more to this island and that their fantasies may not be everything they had hoped for.
It's such a shame to see a movie like this that actually has a decent premise not be able to execute and just go for the bare minimum when it comes to writing, acting, directing and pretty much everything involved. While there is plenty here that doesn't work there are a few glimmers of hope from time to time. For one the movie is nice to look at. Of course most of that probably has to do with it being set on a gorgeous island and having a cast filled with pretty people. There are a couple of decent performances here, most notably Maggie Q and Michael Pena, while the rest of the cast does what they can with not the best material.
The direction here is one of the biggest flaws as it feels like director Jeff Wadlow just doesn't know what to do with the material. Not a surprise really after his previous movie, Truth or Dare, suffered from the same thing. This really did have potential but it doesn't take long to realize that the movie won't ever reach that potential. Everything leads up to what may possibly one of the worst twists to ever be in a movie. It's so bad that a character actually points out how dumb it is. Then the movie decides to end with one of the worst fan services that fans of the original show are just going to roll their eyes at.
While there are a few things here and there that make you think the movie is going to turn out to be decent there just isn't enough to overcome it's shortcomings. Maybe in the hands of a better crew this could have been done right but with everything in place here, Fantasy Island ends up being laughably bad.