Nim (Abigail Breslin) lives with her father Jack (Gerard Butler) on an isolated island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. They've lived there since discovering it on one of their around the world cruises after Nim's mother died. Even though they are alone, they aren't lonely. Nim has made friends with several of the island's animals. They have tons of books. Somehow, they have the internet (that's never explained). And every few months a ship comes by and drops off supplies, including the latest Alex Rover novel.
Jack is a marine biologist always on the trail of a new species of microorganism. When he gets a lead, he takes off for two days. Nim insists she stay behind since her sea turtles eggs are about to hatch. Two days turns into longer when a fierce storm comes up and partially destroys his boat.
While Jack's away, Nim gets an e-mail from Alex Rover asking for help in research for the next book. When things begin to go wrong, the upset 11 year old pours out her heart to Alex, asking for help.
What Nim doesn't know is that Alex Rover is really Alexandra Rover (Jodie Foster) the author who created the hugely popular character. And Alexandra is afraid of everything and never leaves her apartment. Can Alexandra overcome her fears and come to Nim's rescue?
From the previews, I expected a story set on an island. And part of it was. But the story is as much about Alexandra's journey to the island as it is what is happening on the island. When I realized this, I had to shift my expectations. And I'm glad I did because I enjoyed the movie.
It is filled with the kinds of stuff deserted island fanciers will love. The house that Nim and her dad live in is wonderful. The animals are exceedingly cute and the scenery is beautiful. If it were real, I'd be on the next plane out for a vacation on this island.
As long as we're talking about fantasies, there is a fantasy sequence near the beginning that this reader loved. You'll know it when you see it. I was grinning stupidly the entire time that scene was on.
Ultimately, this movie is about finding the courage to be a hero. It's something that Nim, Jack, and Alexandra must do in various ways. What I like about it is that all three face that need in different ways
But this isn't a preachy film. Instead, it's hidden in a film filled with adventure and laughs. It could have been broad and over the top, but it never falls into that trap. That is partially thanks to the wonderful acting by all involved.
Now I will admit that the movie is a bit far fetched. But while you are watching it, you'll want to believe every second because you are having so much fun.
The one flaw the movie has is the climax. Quite a few things were glossed over in the rush to get there, and it is over much too quickly.
The movie is PG. I'm guessing because it is because of characters in peril. I don't remember any language issues. Frankly, I think this is a movie that kids of all ages will enjoy.
So if you are looking for a family friendly movie, give this one a chance.