Survival Island

Survival Island (known as Three in some territories) is a film so bad that it makes The Room look mediocre. Not good, as I’m not sure if that’s even possible, but mediocre. An average movie. If you’ve seen The Room, you know how enjoyable it can be in a so-bad-it’s-good way. Survival Island, conversely, is so bad, so boring, that it’s impossible to enjoy as a film. As an advertisement for Kelly Brook’s body, however, it succeeds. Just look at the poster and tell me what drew your eye.

The film begins with a cruise ship, and introduces the three characters we’re going to be spending way too much time with. There’s a married couple, Jack (Billy Zane) and Jennifer (Brook), and a servant on the boat, Manuel (Juan Pablo Di Pace). The boat catches fire, and before you know it, all three are marooned on an island, with Manuel being the only one who knows what to do. He grew up in places like this, you see, so he knows how to catch and cook fish, what plants you can eat, and so on. And he has his eye on Jennifer, and has since the first time he saw her, although we never find out exactly why.

Survival Island wants to cross the love triangle storyline with a survival movie. It fails in both extents. None of the relationships established within work, and there never felt like there was any danger to being on the island. Why Jennifer married Jack is not explained, as he’s an arrogant, self-centered man who cares little for anyone else. Why Manuel falls instantly in love with Jennifer never gets explained. Why Jennifer would cheat on her husband — who she apparently loves and married despite his flaws — the moment the chance comes up also never gets revealed.

These happen for the sake of two things. The first is to create artificial tension, so that one of them might take it out on the others. The two men fighting over the woman means that it’s possible that some fisticuffs might occur. The second reason is so that we can have sex scenes whenever one of the men goes off to hunt for fish or what have you. Jennifer doesn’t seem to care with whom she has sex, just as long as she is showing off her body to the camera.

And then there is the survival story. These characters are trapped on an island, after all, and they have to survive. But after the first couple of minutes, they figure it out and seem to have no trouble whatsoever surviving. The only danger is each other, although even after a big fight, the characters are amiable enough. They’re not supposed to be on this island for a vacation, but that’s practically what it turns out to be.

So, both elements that Survival Island tries to mash together fail, but I’m sure a decent movie could still be salvageable. It could be, although it isn’t here. Apart from Kelly Brook, whose American accent is simply awful and one of many reasons to watch the film on mute, who looks nice but can barely act, I can’t think of a single element that works. Maybe Billy Zane hamming it up like he’s known to do, but he’s absent from the first portion of the island adventure and when he is there he gets few scenes of true fun.

The main problem is that it’s all so boring and repetitive that there’s nothing to excite you. Characters fight with nothing actually resulting from it, one of them goes off to sulk or hunt, and then the remaining male has sex with Kelly Brook for a couple of seconds before we fade to black and presumably the next day. If that’s not exactly what happens each time, it’s pretty close, and about the only thing I can remember from the movie.

In The Room, the acting felt forced and unnatural. That’s the case here, too, especially on the part of Juan Pablo Di Pace. He seemed as if he was trying way too hard to be dramatic and came across as silly. It was like he was afraid to do anything that might actually be relaxing, so he had a stern and concentrated look on his face the whole time. Why Brook’s character would want to hook up with him is also a mystery, but I suppose when it comes to Zane’s character or Di Pace’s, you can’t win either way. Maybe she was just a masochist. That’s a better explanation than anything in the movie.

So, yes, the only reason to watch Survival Island is if you want to ogle Kelly Brook for 90 minutes. And you almost couldn’t do that, as Zane and Brook tried to get some of her scenes removed from the film, as they didn’t feel that it felt the vision they had of the project. The sued, unsuccessfully, and you can therefore watch whatever vision director/writer Stewart Raffill had — which is to say not much of one. That little bit of trivia is also the most interesting thing about this movie.

Survival Island is a horrible, horrible little movie with production values rivaling The Room. It features little plot, fewer characters, and is a complete waste of time to sit through. There’s no tension, no romance, and not even a bit of survival after the first couple of minutes. It has no ambition other than to provide as clear an image as Kelly Brook on a beach as possible, and even that’s only tolerable if you mute the pointless and poorly delivered dialogue.

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