The Lost Treasure of Sawtooth Island (1999)   0 Stars


The Lost Treasure of Sawtooth Island (1999)
The Lost Treasure of Sawtooth Island (1999)


Director: Richard Brauer

Cast: Ernest Borgnine, Seth Bernard, Brennan Hesser

Synopsis: A young man assembles a small offbeat crew to find the mythical pirate treasure that’s supposedly on the bottom of Lake Michigan and save his family from bankruptcy.







If you ever doubted that the tastes of children are less demanding than those of us adults then all you need to do to convince yourself is watch a few of the profusion of kiddie flicks that litter Sky movie channels’ daytime schedules – assuming, of course, that what the kiddies receive is what they actually want, and that they’re not conditioned into accepting sloppy efforts like The Lost Treasure of Sawtooth Island. The fact that a movie is aimed at the pre-teen set should be no excuse for poor acting (and timing), sloppy editing, and horrendously choreographed swordfight sequences (although they, at least, make you appreciate how difficult the good ones must be to stage).

192-year-old Ernest Borgnine (The Wild Bunch, Rail Kings) receives top-billing, probably because he is the only recognisable actor in the entire picture, but he meets a watery end in the first 15 minutes, abandoning us to the dubious talents of the teenage leads (canny leading ‘man’, feisty leading lady, and slightly geeky best friend), and an excitable old boy who acts as if he’s vocalising for a Warner Brother’s cartoon of the 40s. To be fair, the male lead is quite likeable, but he lacks the necessary charisma to carry the film (I can’t see any kid relating to this guy), but the girl (or, to be kind, her character) is just irritating, and only Randall Godwin, as the evil Doc Biehler, comes close to passing muster, although he’s far too puny to be an intimidating presence.

Sadly enough, there’s the seed of a good children’s story cocooned within the sluggish pace and dearth of action in The Lost Treasure of Sawtooth Island, it’s just a shame that writer Terry Caszatt lacks the necessary experience to give it life and avoid leaving so many things unexplained

(Reviewed 11th February 2002)

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