Having mastered the suspense genre, can Jodie Foster really succeed in a family movie? Well, that depends on who you ask. If you're, say, under the age of 10, you'll probably say "yes," though you may not have any idea who Jodie Foster is. If you've been around longer than a decade, you're likely to respond negatively.
Jack, a scientist widower (Gerard Butler, P.S. I Love You) and his pre-teen daughter, Nim, (Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine) live alone on an uncharted tropical island. While Jack researches marine microcosms, Nim plays with ocean mammals and reads books about her favorite adventurer Alex Rover. But when her father's boat gets caught in a storm, Nim's only hope for rescue is the real Alex Rover (Jodie Foster, Panic Room) who, in reality, is an agoraphobic San Francisco novelist.
Here's that movie you've been looking for on family night. It's produced by the same Walden Media that produced The Chronicles of Narnia and Charlotte's Web, so you get good, clean fun for the kids without anything more risque than a little fart humor.
As for adult appeal, there really isn't any. Butler, Foster and the rest of the grownup cast ridiculously overact while Breslin goofs off unsupervised a la Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone. As a 20-something, it took all my concentration to get through it, but one day I'll have some kids and I'm just certain they'll watch wide-eyed as the little girl runs untamed around her island and Jodie Foster fails miserably at physical comedy.
This video courtesy of Hollywood Video, 590 Broadway Ave., 208-342-6117.