A little sense of danger would help bring some life to Nim's Island

Category: Nim's Island Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: August 7, 2008 | Publication: Sun-Sentinel.com | Author: Rob Lowman
Publication/Article Link:http://www.sun-sentinel.com/entertainment/events/sfl-aa5ppldvdsbaug05,0,7665840.story

Abigail Breslin brings enough sunshine to Nim's Island to rescue this family adventure. Breslin stars as the irrepressible Nim, who lives on a South Pacific island with her widowed scientist father, Jack (Gerard Butler), and animal playmates, including a sea lion, a lizard and a pelican.

And Nim loves reading adventure novels by Alex Rover (Jodie Foster), an Indiana Jones type who in reality is an agoraphobic, hygiene-obsessed writer living in an apartment in San Francisco and talking to her imaginary hero (also played by Butler).

When a storm strands her dad at sea without any means of communication and the island is threatened by tourists from a cruise ship, Nim contacts Alex through the Internet for help. Spurred by her imaginary Alex ("Be the hero of your own adventure"), the writer manages to force herself to venture out and head for the island.

There is a bit of Romancing the Stone here, but Nim doesn't have that much fun or romance.

There's dancing with animals to Stay Up Late by Talking Heads, and other types of suitable family entertainment. But there is little sense of danger in the script by co-directors Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett and, even in a family film, that would help.

Butler is fine in his roles, but Foster seems to be lost at sea when it comes to comedy. Thankfully, Breslin is a great little heroine and, when she connects with Foster, the film clicks.