The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)

Inside the Insides

Marlon Brando can do little wrong in my book. Most people see a few giant performances followed by a period of excess and laziness, the only arguments being in when the shift occurred. But I see a genius who long ago exhausted the opportunities available in ordinary film opportunities, and who has gone on to invent others of his own devising.

As far back as “One Eyed Jacks,” he started to work with metafilms: films whose goal was to work not in the story within the film, but the story of the film, and all that surrounds it. For example, “The Freshman” wasn’t concerned with exploring any character or situation in the story it presented. That story was the merest of excuses to allow him to have his own metadialog with the audience. That dialog was fully supported by the writer and director of the film. But here and in “the Score” he strikes out without their support or even knowledge.

Sure, the film itself is a disaster — who cares? Check out the world Brando creates: fully post-Apocalypse, but with actors as animals on Prospero’s world: “Bladerunner” meets “Mosquito Coast.”

Posted in 2003

Ted’s Evaluation — 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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