Five strangers, Melanie, Patrick, Gwen, JD, and Brax, are selected to experience their deepest desires on Fantasy Island. The film picks up quickly, jumping right into the action of four different storylines. Patrick wants to be a soldier, Melanie wants revenge on a childhood bully, Gwen wishes she could go back in time and redo an important date with her true love, and JD and Brax want to have it all—and by that they mean they want to have a massive house with lavish parties.
While the others experience what they think they truly want, Gwen quickly realizes that, had she known the true power of the island, she would have chosen a more selfless fantasy. As she demands a redo through a minor loophole she finds, she starts to put pieces together that the others haven’t begun to recognize. As everyone else’s fantasies play out, they slowly realize that things aren’t quite what they seem.These five strangers have more in common than they had initially thought.
With stunning scenery, extraordinary acting and unforeseeable plot twists, Fantasy Island is a brilliant film. Lucy Hale portrays and excellent Melanie and seamlessly blends character traits that don’t usually mesh well. The writers do a fantastic job adding key elements throughout the film that play into one unforgettable finale. With that being said, this opinion comes from someone who has not seen the original television series that premiered in 1977.
The film does exhibit negative qualities from a moral viewpoint—Melanie, JD and Brax seem to only have sex and partying on their mind as the movie begins. JD and Brax’s lavish party is filled with crude jokes, nearly naked women, drugs, and endless supplies of alcohol. The two quickly learn that there are consequences for partying in a home that isn’t their own. In addition to this, Brax is homosexual and makes clear references to spending the night with another man, while JD references his “wild” night with a woman named Chastity—whose name is purely ironic.
Melanie’s biggest fantasy is to seek revenge on a high school bully, Sloane—she even goes so far as to post a video on Facebook of Sloane cheating on her husband. It is only then that Melanie realizes she is truly ruining Sloane’s life—not just torturing a hologram. Even Mr. Roarke seems to have an ulterior motive—one that isn’t revealed until the film comes to a close.
It seems that Patrick, Gwen, and (eventually) Sloane are the only characters with wholesome fantasies. Patrick wants to become a soldier to save his father who died when he was a child. Gwen wants to go back in time and say yes to a man who proposed to her in the past. Later, viewers learn that both Gwen and Patrick played a role in the death of a man six years prior. Gwen wishes to go back and save him while Patrick barely remembers the incident. This seemingly random death becomes a recurring theme as the movie draws to a close.
With themes of both good and evil constantly at war with one another, Fantasy Island portrays an entertaining storyline from start to finish. The visuals and audio are just as good as the acting throughout the movie. While this film contains many elements that are inherently negative, it does eventually depict good winning out over evil—leaving viewers feeling ultimately triumphant in the end.
Regardless of the good that comes out on top, heavy, heavy language, violence, and sexual elements make this film Not Dove-approved.
The Dove Take:
A remake of the 1970’s television show, Fantasy Island exposes the true (and raunchy) desires of five travelers.