While on the surface it may not seem like such a bad idea to make a film about a kick-ass female pirate, the combination of nepotism, uninspired dialogue and Geena Davis's penchant for delivering her lines like she's had one too many bottles of cough syrup probably sent more than one Hollywood executive out a skyscraper's window for financing this fifty million dollar bomb.
With her squeaky cheerleader voice, Geena manages to rouse her crew to battle and a search for treasure with lines like: "Let's go!" "Over there!" "Over here!" "Get him!" and "I suggest you stop laughing -- the director is my husband!" With the dramatic impact of most of Morgan's (Davis) lines, her antagonist, Dawg (Frank Langella), is demeaned to the lowest of evil-doer expressions: the grunt and the subhuman, sub-harmonic throat-clearing.
As Renny Harlin is wont to do, and was wont to do in films like "Die Hard 2: Die Harder" and "Nightmare on Elm Street Part 4," he fills his film with lots of chases and explosions. Film marketing people must have done some kind of analysis that told them that the average I.Q. of people who go to see pirate-action movies is never more than three times their shoe size because "Cutthroat Island" has one of the stupidest, "how the hell did she get back on that wagon" scenes I've ever seen.
In it, Morgan's helper, Shaw (Matthew Modine) is driving a wagon under a house. Morgan leaps off the wagon, goes through the window of the house, runs through the room full of people, out the other window, and back onto the wagon, which, presumably, was traveling a good twenty miles an hour, given that it was being pulled by two or three horses. To make this seem somehow plausible, Harlin films the entire sequence in slow motion. Apparently, we're supposed to be so stupid as to think that since everything is going so slow, Morgan might actually be able to catch the wagon when in reality, the wagon has landed on Neptune before Morgan actually gets to the other side of the house. Someone ought to make Harlin pay back the fifty million just for that one scene.
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