Movies bomb – and bomb hard – all the time, with each and every single calendar year boasting more than its fair share of money-losing failures. That being said, not many of them tank so spectacularly they shatter records and instigate the death of an entire studio, which puts Cutthroat Island almost in a class of its own.
We say “almost” because Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within accomplished much the same feat just a few years after Renny Harlin’s swashbuckling sack of crap fizzled out so horrendously that it was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the single heftiest commercial disaster in Hollywood history, losing $105 million and sending Carolco Pictures out to pasture after recouping only $10 million of its $98 million budget from theaters.
If it wasn’t for Johnny Depp and Pirates of the Caribbean it would have nuked an entire genre, too, which is the smallest of mercies. It’s been almost 30 years since a tortured production went massively over budget and behind schedule to set the alarm bells ringing, never mind the fact Matthew Modine ended up playing the male lead opposite Geena Davis because pretty much every major star in the industry turned it down out of common sense, but does it deserve to be reevaluated?
That unnecessary can of worms was opened on Reddit, opening the doors to whether or not Cutthroat Island‘s status as an infamous misstep that flopped on a larger scale than any movie had ever flopped before deserved to be swept under the rug in favor of repainting it as a tongue-in-cheek, cheesy swashbuckler that boasts some stellar production design and sweeping visuals.
You’d be inclined to say “no” because as a feature film it still sucks as much now as it did back in 1995, but as they say, taste and personal preference is entirely subjective.
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