The Mosquito Coast
Creators Neil Cross
Cast: Justin Theroux (Ailey), Melissa George (Margot), Gabriel Bateman (Charlie), Logan Polish (Dina), Kimberly Elise (Estelle), James Legros (Don), Ian Hart (Bill), Paterson Joseph (Kalaka), Ophelia Medina (Lucretia), Scotty Tovar (Chui) and others.
Apple TV+ channel
Release year 2021
The series is based on the novel of the same name by writer Paul Theroux (actor Justin Theroux is his nephew). The work has already been filmed – in 1986 a feature film was released with Harrison Ford in the title role.
It is noteworthy that the series from Apple TV + practically does not repeat the plot of the book or the film adaptation. The new project turned out to be a full-fledged escape thriller that takes place in the modern world. The material was adapted by showrunner Neil Cross (he worked on the multi-episode crime drama Luther) – he added intrigue to the story, thanks to which all episodes look almost in the same breath.
So, we see an ordinary family that lives in a private house located in isolation. The father of the family, Ailey, is developing his own ice-making invention and works as a plumber at a local factory. His wife Margo is homeschooling two teenagers who are banned from using mobile phones, let alone accessing the internet. At first glance, the parents simply deny the excesses of modern life and despise the commercialization that has taken over America.
But, if you look at them closer, their situation looks more and more strange. It’s not that the characters prefer to use typewriters and listen to music from cassette recorders. It seems that the family is hiding from someone, trying to remain unnoticed. So it is – when Ailey notices a suspicious car that is following him, he immediately takes off. The hero has already prepared a plan, according to which he and his family will illegally cross the border to get into another country.
The creators of The Mosquito Coast are pretty quick to make it clear that the heroes will not linger in one place. They are forced to constantly move, finding themselves in the most unforeseen and dangerous places. Therefore, the desire to delve into the plot arises quite quickly – all thanks to the successful pace of the series, which does without slow scenes.
In addition, watching the movement of the family, it becomes interesting what makes the characters run without looking back. Why do they agree to roam the desert, endure hardships and get involved in dangerous undertakings that can cost them their lives.
Here, of course, the character of Ailee, played by Justin Theroux with an excellent hit on the character of the protagonist, attracts attention. He is easy-going, smart and extremely resourceful. He is able to break locks and make devices useful in everyday life. However, the character directs all his strength to the embodiment of crazy ideas that seem to him ingenious solutions to dead-end problems.
Remarkably, Ailey is not a tyrant, the man does not force the family to anything, but tries to inspire everyone with his perception of the world. He talks with particular enthusiasm about the waste that the government makes to strengthen weapons, but he himself does not notice the consequences of the tricks he invented to escape (sometimes the writers say in plain text that the hero is the embodiment of America’s most controversial features). All the horrors that the family goes through, Ailee calls an adventure, even if his children, by sheer chance, fall straight into the criminal cartel.
Which is good, Ailee isn’t the only interesting character on the show. His wife, played by Australian actress Melissa George, also hides something from the children, over and over again agreeing to go through insane difficulties. The eldest daughter shows her will and becomes the only one who does not always agree with her father – at some point this turns into a curious plot conflict. And the son, who grew up far from society, is fascinated by adventure, so he is not embarrassed by the extravagant antics of the parent. Together they are a team that pulls all sorts of shenanigans quite skillfully.
On the way of the main characters, periodically there are people who help them or become another mortal danger. Among them is a hired killer, played by actor Ian Hart, chasing his family across Mexico. It is in this country that the characters will get into serious troubles, and the audience will be curious right up to the very end how Aili will be able to get out of them. The last episode, by the way, is not the end of the story at all – the series was extended for a second season.
And not in vain, The Mosquito Coast turned out to be a successful road thriller full of events. What is happening, however, sometimes raises questions – this concerns the logic of the main characters, involving children in dangerous adventures without a clear plan or at least provisions. But in truth, if the writers of the series had focused on such details, then they might not have been able to create a seven-episode thrilling adventure.
Pros: Justin Theroux as the main character; many events; all the characters in the series are interesting; intrigue at the heart of the plot; the series look in one breath Cons: sometimes there is no logic in the actions of the characters Conclusion:
series for those who love stories about heroes who are on the run.