It’s a pirate movie, and that’s it. Anything you saw in Pirates of the Caribbean, you could pretty much see here first. But despite its lack of ambition, Cutthroat Island is nowhere near bad enough that it should have ended Geena Davis’s career. It keeps its feet firmly planted in B-Movie Land, whether with the incongruously lipsticked British governor-general or with the immortal line of Marion-Berry-esque dialogue, “Bitch stole my map!” Which is delivered with a perfect poker face by Frank Langella, who doesn’t seem to care that he’s in B-Movie Land.
Davis, by contrast, doesn’t seem to notice that she’s in B-Movie Land, at least not until the climactic put-down that explains the reason behind the name of Langella’s arch-pirate: “Bad Dawg!” But if she’s not exactly the most watchable B-actress—odd for someone who starred in Earth Girls Are Easy—she doesn’t send the thing down the drain, either. Maybe that’s because this isn’t the kind of movie that relies on finely tuned thespianism (the accents don’t even seem to originate on the same continent). Basically, what’s great about Cutthroat Island is that it knows it’s a cheesy historical action movie and doesn’t demand an Academy Award anyway, RUSSELL “MAXIMUS” CROWE.