REview: The Isle (2018) | Just Because Something Seems Old Doesn’t Make It Good

Not to be confused with The Aisle (which you’d think was the title of this movie as often as I’ve corrected myself).

Anyway, the fetishization of black and white filmmaking by some has always bothered me because they typically imply that it began as an esthetic choice, as opposed to filmmakers having no other option.

In other words, if you posit a scenario that if filmmakers had somehow created color film first then black and white it would be an esthetic choice because it would be outside the norm and there were other options.

Though I’m reasonably confident in saying that it wouldn’t be something most filmmakers would have taken advantage of because no one sees in black and white, unless you’re colorblind.

What does that pithy observation above have to do with The Isle? Let’s start at the beginning. The above poster has a quote from Stephen Fry in the upper left section, which says:

Now, it’s hard to tell what that means out of context though I assume that it means that The Isle is a movie that he believes is more dignified, more erudite than those you’d typically see these days.

And in a sense it’s true. The Isle does resemble movies from a bygone era, though mainly in the way that it doesn’t seem to go anywhere particularly interesting, while taking it’s own sweet time getting there.

Which isn’t to say that it’s a bad or unwatchable – it isn’t – more than just being a bit dull and uneventful.

Which is a pity because the premise – three shipwrecked Brits stumble upon an island who’s inhabitants are seemly under some sort of curse – is an interesting idea.

The movie even seemingly takes place on an actual island but only rarely seemed to take advantage of that fact, instead spending way too much time in various cabins.

It’s well-acted (for the most part) and competently done, but there’s little in the way of passion – never mind actual thrills – driving the production so even when things seem to get the least bit interesting, they don’t go anywhere.

Almost if they’re the movie’s aspirations were trapped on the same island as the three sailors.

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