South soporific

Movie: The Legend of Johnny Lingo

The Legend of Johnny Lingo
Length: 1 hour, 31 minutes
Studio: Number 8 Productions
Release Date: 2003-10-03
Cast: George Henare, Rawiri Paratene, Joe Falou, Alvin Fitisemanu, Kayte Ferguson
Director: Steven Ramirez
Screenwriter: Riwia Brown
WorkNameSort: The Legend of Johnny Lingo
Our Rating: 1.50

Its handlers would clearly love for this awful South Seas fable to grab the tail of "Whale Rider," but it shares more stylistic attributes (and cast members) with "The Other Side of Heaven," the crappy Mormon-missionary flick of two years ago. First-time director Steven Ramirez heaps buckets of smarm on the decades-old story of a troubled island boy who learns personal worth at the hands of a wise and legendary trader. Beyond-hackneyed dialogue helps Ramirez convey the (mistaken?) impression that none of his featured players can act. Throw in a dramatic arc that's practically a flat line and you'll know how long 91 minutes can feel.