(David Bamber, Martin Clunes, et al / DVD / NR / (1998) 2007 / BFS Ent.)
Overview: A weekend team-building exercise for four executives goes wrong when their boat capsizes and they are marooned on an uninhabited island. Struggling to survive in the wild where their cell phones are only good for bashing fish, they face hunger, cold, no comfy beds and no movie channel!
DVD Verdict: 'Neville's Island' is an ITV (UK) TV film which plays like The Lord of the Flies meets Three Men in a Boat. Except here there are four men, who, when their boat sinks, find themselves stranded on a small island in the middle of the Lake District's Derwent Water with a sausage and an almost defunct mobile phone. Given that our heroes are middle-aged executives on a weekend training exercise, tempers and personalities soon fray.
Starring Martin - Men Behaving Badly - Clunes this is essentially a comedy, though the funniest lines go to Timothy Spall as the mercilessly sarcastic Gordon. Jeff Rawle is Neville, the capable team leader, David Bamber the organised Angus, while Clunes has the plum role as Roy, whose mental instability triggers the sometimes-surreal concluding sequences.
In a scene paralleling Scream (1996) the rules of the stranded-on-an-island film genre are established, allowing writer Tim Firth to have fun twisting the clichés. He even feints that the film is about to turn into a slasher pic, or the UK's answer to Deliverance (1972). 'Neville's Island' does get a little out of its depth when it ventures into metaphysical waters, but the performances are perfectly judged and the exceptionally sharp dialogue delivers sustained amusement and intermittent belly laughs. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of: