After some sweet talking they convince their mother to let them go camp out on said island by themselves, four siblings whose ages seem to range somewhere between 9 and 16, and they set out aboard the farmers boat “Swallow” to discover the island and have jolly japes and teas and crumpets and an all round Famous Five approved period English adventure. Arriving at the island they find there are rivals for control of the land in a pair of local sisters who have claimed it for their own and pirate the lake on their boat the “Amazon”.
I’d end that sentence with “and only they can save the day” but that simply isn’t true, if anything they make things worse by not reporting what they’ve seen to a grown up who might actually be able to do something useful. I grew up on adventure stories such as The Famous Five (who are now perhaps better remembered with the words Comic Strip Presents in front of them) and whilst this is definitely in that vein I’m not familiar with this book and I didn’t find myself rooting for these kids at all. Maybe I’m officially old but all I could think to myself was “For God’s sake go find an adult!” as they stumble from one near death experience to the next, and that’s before the gun toting Russians show up. The finale is a particularly ridiculous moment where I think the kids deliberately chose the least useful course of action.
Fairly unimpressive as it happens. The whole movie feels a kind of cheap that would have made for an okay TV special but stands out little in a cinema setting. The kids have their own adventure on the island with the spy story happening very much in the background but that story is so far in the background it ends up having no real depth beyond “aren’t the Russians evil probably”.
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