The Mosquito Coast shows off Allie Fox’s (Justin Theroux) talents early on, as he demonstrates how he can literally create ice from fire, which is very handy if you don’t have access to electricity and live a sustainable existence. Of course, while this would be of use to Tom and Barbara Good in The Good Life, would it also resonate with the average human?
Similarly, he buys used cooking oil so he can convert it into biodiesel, and run his car on it, but we can see how this all certainly doesn’t help pay the bills, because they’re all overdue and the bank want to take away the house.
While his wife, Margot (Melissa George), has a look on her face that he’s clearly nothing but a dreamer, he’s clearly also a control freak, since while his daughter, Dina (Logan Polish), is studying for her SATs, he objects to her having a boyfriend, even to the point where he throws her phone out of the car.
Based on the original novel by Paul Theroux, who is also Justin’s uncle, this has a very gentle pacing at first, but steps up a gear, and all we know about Allie’s situation to come, early on, is that the authorities are after him for reasons unexplained.
I remember seeing the film, also based on the same novel, but I don’t remember a huge amount about it. As it was 1986 and I was a kid, and especially after seeing Harrison Ford in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones films, it was just disappointing that he wasn’t endlessly beating up bad guys.
One problem with TV version of The Mosquito Coast, after watching the opener, is that Allie isn’t any sort of likeable character – disrupting his family’s lives, just so he can live the off-grid style of life.
Personally, I’ll try a second episode, but I’m not convinced by this, as I just don’t get the point of what the main character is trying to do. He just seems like the most selfish individual on the planet. If there’s anything he looks like he needs, it’s a reality check and a hot bath.
The Mosquito Coast is on Apple TV+ from Friday April 30th, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Check out the trailer below:
Episode 1 Score: 5/10
Running time: 57 minutes approx per episode
Release date: April 30th 2021
Studio: Apple TV+
Series Directors: Natalia Beristáin, Rupert Wyatt, Clare Kilner, Tinge Krishnan, Jeremy Podeswa
Producers: Christina M Fitzgerald, Tommy Turtle, Avram ‘Butch’ Kaplan
Writers: Neil Cross, Tom Bissell, Michael D Fuller, Emmy Grinwis, Anya Leta, Ian Scott McCullough, Gideon Yago
Novel: Paul Theroux
Music: Antonio Pinto
Allie Fox: Justin Theroux
Margot Fox: Melissa George
Dina Fox: Logan Polish
Charlie Fox: Gabriel Bateman
Jones: Kimberly Elise
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.