Main      Site Guide    
At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Escape From Atlantis (1997)



Reviews and Comments

This movie's first crippling problem is the Bratty Kid factor. I despise movies about bratty, rude kids who abuse their parents verbally only to have the parents apologize later.

But the kids in Escape From Atlantis go far below and beyond being brats. They lack common human decency. They are malicious and cruel. And naturally their single father apologizes for it...yet they fail to relent even then.

This sunk the movie for me right there (I cared so little for the characters, I might have rooted for the badguy, had I been moved enough to root at all), but if it hadn't, something else would have. The acting, for example, is atrocious. The depiction of the characters, for example, is muddled and confused. I believed almost nothing the characters did, except for acting bratty. I didn't believe any of the characters' change of heart at the end, and I certainly didn't believe the main character could fight so well in combat even though he had been previously established as ex-military.

The plot has the main characters (a family and a shockingly unfunny sailboat captain) sailing into the bermuda triangle where a storm occurs and strands them on the island of Atlantis, which is inhabited by solemn goodguys, grungy badguys, and short people with fake makeup. There are all kinds of perils, such as the "water hand that grabs people" peril (when one of the characters is sucked away, presumably never to be seen again, no one else bats an eye...or even gets out of the water) and the "balls that spin around and make people disappear" peril and, my favorite, the "spider webs that hold on to you until the plot says it's ok to let go" peril.

I find myself at a loss for a compliment to pay this movie. If I had to muster one, I'd say that the photography of the island is often (but not always) quite beautiful. It's a nice thing to boast about, but as the movie's sole asset, it stinks.