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CutThroat Island
cast: Geena Davis, Matthew Modine, Frank Langella, Maury Chaykin, and Patrick Malahide

director: Renny Harlin

117 minutes (PG) 1995
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Momentum DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by John Percival
A swashbuckler that is best described as a 'enjoyable romp', this movie was never going to set the world alight but if you forgive the flaws then you will not regret having watched it. Pirate's daughter Morgan Adams (Geena Davis) goes in search of a treasure island with one piece of a map, and educated thief and slave William Shaw (Matthew Modine) in tow. Morgan sets sail on the high seas of the Jamaican islands pursing the two other pieces of the map, which are in the hands of her evil murderous uncle, Captain Dawg (Frank Langella).
   At times the movie swings wildly between 'camp' and a Disney movie. The female pirate Morgan seems to be less of a vision of female empowerment and more of a rejection of femininity. In a world where male and female roles are worlds apart, Davis attempts to bridge the two worlds and ultimately fails to convince in either, unlike her next film the excellent Long Kiss Goodnight. The dialogue, which is at times is witty, borders cringingly on the 'thigh slapping' pantomime during Davis' speeches to her crew. Shaw always has a bag of witty one-liner's close at hand, and although Morgan saves him from certain doom on several occasions, and through this a romance blossoms, we are just not given sufficient reason to care about him.
   The sets and locations are as colourful as the action and just as detailed. From the many fights to an incredibly impressive exploding galleon at the end, they hold together the film and carry you happily through the story. Even though the story has holes, and the performances encompass every pirate clich´┐Ż, they can be forgiven. Plus the lovely Geena Davis in action mode makes the film quite watchable. It is good lighthearted fun, perfect for an afternoon's viewing.
   DVD extras: the trailer, a making-of featurette, filmed interviews, storyboards, and a commentary with Renny Harlin.
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