Cutthroat Island

Year: 1995
Directed By: Renny Harlin
Written By: Several writers


OK…..maybe I took a History of Pirates course in college, and received credit for it as part of my American history studies.  The class sounded really cool at the time and should have been really, but it was a disappointment in the end.  We more or less spent the summer semester watching movies about pirates, such as this one.  I do in fact really like this movie, but I have to be honest.  When this film is being viewed in a college class then both time and money has been wasted.

I find this film really exciting mainly because I was eleven years old when I first saw it and it was the most awesome movie ever.  I still enjoy this movie because while it is over the top and regularly ridiculous it is still awesome. This film is, or at least was, actually listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest box office bust of all time.  It is the movie that put Carolco Pictures in the tank being the last movie the studio made before filing for bankruptcy.  Carolco Pictures made many big time action movies during the 80s and early 90s, many starring Stallone or Schwarzenegger.  This movie literally put an end to pirate themed movies until Disney made Pirates of the Caribbean.   While the movie does deserve plenty of the criticism it receives the film isn’t as bad a plenty others that only stand apart because they made more money. This movie was made on a $98 million budget and had a US gross of only $10 million.  That is pretty low but I really don’t understand why more people didn’t go to see it.  I think obviously the world wasn’t ready for Geena Davis to be a powerhouse action star.

Geena Davis was actually married to the director of the film, Renny Harlin.  He obviously wasn’t thinking straight when he decided to cast his wife, and he practically killed her career.  Although they would do another over the top action movie a year later that I also love, it was the Long Kiss Godnight . I am a big fan of Geena Davis and irregardless how campy and goofy she might be in this role I still liked her as a pirate.  Her lines are dumb, but she looked so good and she is always kicking ass.  Matthew Modine did nothing to advance his disappointing career with this role.  His lines are worse than Davis’s and he doesn’t deliver them as well. I do like Frank Langella as the bad guy though, it’s a shame nobody saw this movie simply because he does do a good job.  He will never be able to top his best role as a villian though.

I have been pretty open about the fact that I can be a sucker for a stupid action movie so this movie is obviously right up my alley.  It is overloaded with action to the point that I am shocked the budget was on $98 million.  On top of all the action the movie does great work in production.  The costumes look good, the sets and ships look good.  The movie follows many cliches about pirates but I’d have to say that was appropriate for an action packed pirate movie.  I’m pretty sure Renny wasn’t after any Academy Awards when he made this one. He just wanted to make a fun action movie, and there is alot to be said about a fun movie you don’t have to put too much thought into.


Ryan told me this movie was still good even though it holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the biggest box office flop in history. How can it still be good? That is like saying Gigli was a good movie. That movie may have even surpassed this one in box office flops. When we watched this movie the other night I thought I was going to die. This movie is completely boring and unrealistic. And although I really do like Geena Davis, I really can’t stand her in this movie. I also just in general did not like this movie. Unless you are an eleven year old boy, I wouldn’t recommend watching this movie. It is a total snooze fest.

NEXT MOVIE: The Darjeeling Limited (2007)


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