TV Review - Blue Lagoon: The Awakening

I think the only thing this Lifetime movie has going for it is that its two Australian actors are really good-looking, but there's not much else to be found here. The story is basically a re-imagining of the Oscar-nominated The Blue Lagoon (1980) starring Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins, but instead of two children growing up on a deserted island, this movie is about two people who are already grown up who get stranded on a deserted island. In the original, the two people had no history off the island. Here, the two do have a history off the island. They were two typical, suburban teenagers with smart phones and Facebook accounts. Director Jake Newsome cuts back and forth between showing the teens' lives on the island and their lives back in suburbia. He juxtaposes the beauty of the island and the monotony of suburbia, questioning if life on the island is better.

Indiana Evans plays Emmaline, the teen with the perfect girl personae. She's essentially a total girl scout who's on the fast track to Princeton University. Brenton Thwaites plays Dean, the total bad boy and loner in school. He's described as the "Rebel Without a Cause" and Holden Caulfield-type. Both are a part of a school trip to the Caribbean. Through a series of ridiculous events, the two lose their boat and end up on the deserted isle.

I didn't feel the chemistry between them. The two eventually have sex, but it feels as though they do so only because it's scripted for them to do so, not because of anything organic that develops. Thanks to the screenplay by Matt Heller and Heather Rutman, there is no sense of discovery or danger. It's just a series of beauty shots, making life on the tropical paradise look like a tropical paradise. Even when animals pop up to menace or monkey around, they never feel threatening. There are scenes of the parents searching for Emma and Dean, but the outcome seems inevitable, so this movie had no stakes.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-14-DLSV.
Running Time: 2 hrs.
Aired Saturday 6/16/12
Aired on LIFETIME at 8PM.


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