28 October 2004 | dinky-4
A B-movie without the usual B-movie charm
This sounds good, or at least "fun." Jeff Chandler's lured by a beautiful blonde to dive for treasure in a movie called "Smuggler's Island." One imagines scenes of a sun-bronzed Chandler venturing into the atoll of a Pacific lagoon to snatch some fabulous pearl guarded by a hungry shark.
Alas, the reality is much drabber. The action takes place in and around Macao but the look is definitely "Universal back-lot" and Chandler's brief and unexciting dive is done not with scuba gear but rather in one of those bulky, cumbersome diving suits. Thus Chandler doesn't even get to display any "beefcake," though he manages to keep unbuttoned the top two buttons of his shirt. This shows a bit of chest-hair which was shaved off for his next movie, "Iron Man," in which he played a boxer.
Evelyn Keyes doesn't have much leading-lady allure and one finds it hard to believe Chandler would "fall" for her so quickly. None of the film's villains has the necessary "style" and the climactic chase to Hong Kong lacks tension. In fact, there's not a single thrill in the entire movie.
The result is a lifeless movie peopled by dull characters involved in a plot which holds little interest. No one has his or her heart in this project and, oh, does it show.