Dr. Moreau is a brilliant geneticist on the brink of redefining evolution. When edward douglas arrives as a captive at moreaus island laboratory he uncovers fantastic but brutal experiments turning animal life forms into h... more »uman-like beasts. Soon the beasts revolt threatening not only the island but mankind. Studio: New Line Home Video Release Date: 04/05/2005 Starring: Marlon Brando David Thewlis Run time: 96 minutes Rating: R Director: John Frankenheimer« less
Matthew C. (CoopXL) from PLEASANT PR, WI Reviewed on 9/2/2009...
The production of "Moreau" was riddled with problems; the original director was fired, the new director and many of the actors didn't get along, many involved simply behaved unprofessionally, etc... Unfortunately, it all shows in the final product.
The island and all of Dr. Moreau's work tumbles into chaos, but so does the movie. One gets the feeling that no one was in charge while making the movie. Brando is one of the greats, and normally I've no complaints about Kilmer, but they both phone it in here. There is a scene where Kilmer does an impersonation of Brando that seems pretty disrespectful. John Fankenheimer was an accomplished director, but he never pulled it together here.
Having said all that, David Thewlis and Ron Perlman give fine performances and the script is okay. And the story (not the script, per se) is thought-provoking.
The creature effects by Stan Winston are outstanding, even by today's CGI standards. This alone almost makes the movie watchable.
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't stress enough how important it is for anyone considering seeing this movie to ignore the heaps of negative reviews here. Most justify their opinions by calling this film strange, grotesque, or both. Both are fitting, but there's alot more to this film than that, and those two things in themselves are not necessarily reason to dislike a film. Quite the contrary, when Hollywood is so overrun with unchallenging, unoriginal fodder. I could praise the movie on any number of levels. Every actor here carries his or her eccentric role with a perfectly tasteful care not to go over the top or become too cartoonish. The dialogue is free of fluff and carries quite an element of eloquence, which is fitting when considering the overall dramatic intent. On a more basic level, the creature effects used on the half human, half animal hybrid creations inhabiting Moreau's Island are handled by none other than Stan Winston and done very well, and the soundtrack is appropriately eerie, with tribal drumming used in parts to enhance the mood. And, of course, the themes explored here, despite their familiarity (the power of instnct, and the danger of playing God), are driven home with potent efficiency, probably thanks to the extreme and sometimes bizzare nature in which they're handled.The fact that this movie carries such a human element with it is what I really like about it. It's easy to feel for the man-beasts, tragic abominations intelligent enough to know they're nothing but the waste products of a madman's search for genetic perfection. The protagonist, as well, benefits from the fact that he is very much an introvert and probably speaks less than Val Kilmer, who is less vital to the plot. His quiet observation helps add to the realism and mold a film which could have easily been a silly mess into a moving, artfully crafted piece of work.If you choose to judge this movie as harshly as most have, then go ahead, but at least see it first with an open mind. I for one feel a movie this bold deserves every bit of respect."
Col. Kurtz IF he had survived "Apocalypse Now"
- Durrkk | Ohio/PA border USA | 06/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ever wonder where Col. Kurtz would've ended up if he had survived the end of "Apocalypse Now"? Well, now we know: He exiled himself to a deserted island to create humanimals -- the horror, the horror.
In light of all the bad press one would really think this is a lousy movie. And I can see WHY some people don't like it, the main portion of the flick is really INSANE. However, if you're a sucker for lost-on-an-island type yarns and appreciate the heavy mood & insanity of "Apocalypse Now," you'll probably like it. I'm not saying it's anywhere near as great as "Apocalypse Now" but Marlon Brando and the jungle insanity make the comparison inevitable.
WHAT WORKS: The title sequence is great, perhaps one of the best in all of cinema (another Amazon reviewer noted this, so I'm not alone); the soundtrack is phenomenal ('nuff said); the plot is intriguing; the humanimal make-up is fine ('Hyena' looks especially horrific); the film possesses an undeniable creative pizzazz (i.e. it's moody, atmospheric and insane); and Marlon Brando's 35 minute stint in the film is as captivating as always (you can probably tell I'm a huge Brando fan -- in particular, "One-Eyed Jacks," "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1962), "The Young Lions," "Superman" and "Apocalypse Now" [not "Redux"]).
WHAT DOESN'T WORK: The third act of the film is almost total insanity, except for the final ten minutes or so; as a result the story will lose the interest of those who have no appreciation for such artistic flair.
CLOSING THOUGHTS: I really enjoyed seeing Brando in his old age in this flick; it proves he had his magnetic charm until the end. If you enjoyed Brando as 'Kurtz' in "Apocalypse Now" you'll appeciate him in "Island;" in fact, as already noted, Dr. Moreau is a variation of Kurtz in his old age (i.e. nutjob in the jungle).
If you're predisposed for such a flick, "Dr. Moreau" is weird, but certainly worthwhile."
The line between animal and man has been evolutionized.
Tressa L. Breen | Gardner, MA USA | 01/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"An ocean plane wrecked diplomat (David Thewlis) is rescued and brought to an island inhabited by a Nobel winning now reclusive scientist (Marlon Brando) and his children; the animals he has been genetically manipulating with human DNA in an attempt to create his vision of a pure species.
When this film opened it was panned by the critics. I was never sure why. It opens strong, both visually and musically. The locale is beautifully claustrophobic, appropriate for a secluded tropical island. Stan Winston's creature make up is excellent. The body language of the "humanimals" is very interesting. The underlying commentaries on the savagery of society and the morality of biological scientific experimentation are intact. Performances are excellent (Brando makes a daring, and critics said poor, choice in his interpretation of Moreau in that he plays him like an effete, physically feeble, unbelievably polite British University English Professor, more eccentrically insane instead of the usual madly insane that most crazy scientist characters are portrayed as). This is a well done film."
Sick, Twisted and Entertaining
- Durrkk | 04/18/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you are looking for a litte twisted entertainment TIODM delivers. I made my girlfriend watch it and she had nightmares. As for me, it was just what I was looking for and Brando delivivers a great performance as a scientist gone mad."
Wierd crazy freaks galore, superb!
- Durrkk | 03/17/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When shipwrecked explorer David Thewlis lands on an island and welcomed by Val Kilmer he probably didn't expect anything like what was waiting for him in this unpredictable horro action. This movie is chock-a-block full of action, plot, scientific experiments and wierd half man half animal like creatures. At first Thewlis (our hero) plays the role in exploring the island and trying to blend in to the rest of the freaky community, but he is very suprised by the treatment of Moreau (brando) to the animals, as well as the rules, the laws and the oneness of man and animal. But when certain members rebel against their leader all hell breaks loose. The hyenas take over, Thewlis tries his best to escape, a wise old man tries to calm every one down, a funny little 1ft man ( bred with a worm) wanders around aimlessly and Kilmer goes beyond the boundaries of crazy. Alot goes on in this great film, it really is a must see, so if I were you go out and hire it right now."