If I thought the 2005 version was poor, then this dull, cheap and silly Syfy channel produced and action-lite adaptation is without question the absolute nadir of Mysterious Island screen adaptations.
Bermuda Triangle time-travelling
It keeps the US Civil War escape, the hot air balloon, Captain Nemo and the island, and then introduces a Bermuda Triangle time-travelling aspect when a modern jet plane crash lands.
that sucker is now nuclear
Fortunately for our heterosexual male castaways, out of the wreckage step a pair of glamorous young white women, very much inappropriately dressed for the environment, and perilous encounters with strange creatures create opportunity for romance, as well as lame moments of culture clash comedy.
One is named Julia Fogg, presumably in homage to Jules Verne and his creation Phileas Fogg, from Around the World in Eighty Days.
Nemo is a very white and American genial grandfather, who has put aside his grudge against the British to pursue world peace. As for his submarine the Nautilus, to paraphrase Marty McFly, that sucker is now nuclear, and lightning is harnessed to facilitate the castaways escape.
There’s pirates, a volcano, a giant octopus and an electric gun, the last two have clearly wandered in from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. But at least that suggests someone on the production team is at least passingly familiar with Verne’s work.
However there’s no stars, no dog, a minimum of not-so special effects, poor acting, dreadful dialogue, and tepid direction. Devoid of tension, excitement or sense, this is worse than the most cheap episode of Dr Who, even the Sylvester McCoy ones.
Amazingly, it’s clear someone involved had hopes of a sequel, or maybe a franchise or spin-off TV series, which is the easily the most fantastical element of this entire sorry enterprise.