THE LEGEND OF JOHNNY LINGO
Review by Chastity Campbell
Starring: Hori Ahipene, Kayte Ferguson, Alvin Fitisemanu,
Fokikovoi, Joe Folau, George Henare, Rawiri Paratene, Tausani Simei-Barton, Sima
Director: Steven Ramirez
Video: 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
Features: See Review
Release Date: May 11, 2004
In a day and age where sex and violence seems to be the
only thing that sells, it's nice to see a family friendly movie that relies on
neither, to make a great statement about loyalty and life.
The Legend Of Johnny Lingo is the story about a misfit orphan boy
who doesn't fit in anywhere.
The king's wife
poisons his mind about the boy, the villagers all think he's cursed, and even
when Tama does find a kindred spirit in a mentally abused little girl, his
life's journey takes him in a completely opposite direction from hers.
Tama sets out on his own in a raft/windjammer he carved out
of wood. Half dead from dehydration
and sunburn, he washes up on the island owned by Johnny Lingo.
Lingo himself has a trading and shipping business that has
allowed his island to prosper to a level far beyond the surrounding islands.
When Tama is caught stealing from him, Johnny uses that to help the boy.
He forces him into servitude for seven years, in order to work off the
debt he owes for what he stole. Along
the way Tama learns a lot about life and in the end love.
This movie was fast, fun, and cute, just the way a family
movie should be. The story itself
is one that's been told a hundred times before:
self doubt and fear leading people down the wrong path in life, only to
find a detour along the way that forces them back onto the right path.
However, the island theme of this film played very nicely with the story
and time period, giving it a brand new feel.
The young actors and actresses in this film were truly
inspiring. I haven't figured out
yet what region of the world they are from but I have a very strong feeling that
they are Kiwis! No, not the fruit,
silly goose…New Zealanders of course!
No matter where they were from, they all did a wonderful
job. Each person brought their own
spark of life to the character they played, and made them all stand out.
From Tama to Johnny Lingo II, right on down the line to the old
Chieftain, you really have a chance to enjoy each character.
This DVD contained some of the most wonderful photography I
have ever seen. The
breathtaking ocean views and beautiful islands make for some truly amazing
In the end the name doesn't make the man, and the girl
doesn't always fall at your feet, but for one island misfit, second chances
seem to pop around the corner at the most unexpected moments.
If you looking for some good clean family oriented
entertainment, you will definitely want to bring The Legend Of Johnny Lingo
home for a visit.
The video quality was good, but I wasn't as impressed
with it as I was the audio.
The 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen formatting worked well with
this film. The colors were vivid,
and crisp. There was a little bit
of softening around the edges, but nothing that would be considered overly
I would have liked to mark the video higher, but it didn't pop off of the screen like some other recent MGM offerings, and that was a little disappointing.
This DVD was presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound.
The quality of the sound was good, with a nice blending of the dialogue
and background music beds. The
ocean sound effects tended to be overwhelming at times, but otherwise, good
audio with no audible flaws.
The original theatrical trailer is the only real extra
feature on this DVD.