The Island of Dr. Moreau

Can animals be made into humans, and humans into gods? Dr. Moreau, a Nobel Prize winning genetic engineer attempts to do this in John Frankheimer's adaptation of H. G. Well's novel, The Island of Dr. Moreau.

Moreau, who has been forced into isolation on an island due to the nature of his research, indulges in bizarre experiments, creating monstrous man-beast hybrids. Supposedly helping him is Montgomery (Val Kilmer), an ex-neurosurgeon who now does odd jobs on the island while he's not high on some stimulant.

We learn of this strange island when Edward Douglas, a U.N. peacemaker, is shipwrecked and saved by a ship on route to the island. Montgomery and the good doctor cannot pass up the opportunity to get their hands on some new DNA and they promptly make Douglas their new guinea pig.

The bulk of the movie revolves around the interactions between the humans and the beast people as they slowly learn to assert themselves and accept who and what they are. Brando manages to create a highly likeable character even in the midst of his immoral work. Thewlis' character seems to accept his situation a bit too readily, but his behaviour reflects the actions of someone who's disoriented and terrified. The beast people have a couple of worthy actors: Ron Perlman from the television show Beauty and the Beast portrays The Sayer of the Laws and Fairuza Balk from The Craft, the Doctor's closest step toward perfection.

There are a few interesting and humourous moments in The Island of Dr. Moreau, but for the most part, the movie is tedious and boring. If you are a fan of either Brando or Thewlis check it out on the big screen. Otherwise leave this one for rental.

Movie ram-blings || Ram Samudrala ||