The Mosquito Coast (2021)
With Justin Theroux
In 1981, Paul Theroux wrote a novel called “The Mosquito Coast.” Sorry to say I remember nothing about it.
Five years later, the movie version appeared, starring Harrison Ford. I never saw it.
In 2021, Justin Theroux, Paul’s nephew, starred in the Apple TV version of TMC.
I will never forget it.
What makes this thriller-diller, often improbable 7-episode series so must-watch? Like all great adventure dramas, it never meets your expectations of what’s going to happen next. It grinds them into dust. Oh yeah and then there’s the scenics. The writing. Oh and did I mention the cast?
JT plays Allie Fox, an ex-employee of the National Security Agency, which he’s now on the run from. He and his wife Margot (Melissa George) are living in semi-isolation in California with their two home-schooled kids, Dina and Charlie (played by Logan Polish and a terrific Gabriel Bateman). But it’s only a matter of time before the NSA finds them.
Allie, a bit of a tinkerer and a total anti-corporatist, hits on an idea: flee, together with his reluctant family, from the US into Mexico in search of an idyllic Central American beachy refuge. (Clarification: We’re not talking Club Med here.) Then, through a series of ingenious, nail-biting escapes from the authorities, the border patrol, along with meetups with shady characters, and crawls across the Arizona desert, they make their way into Mexico…where they encounter other challenges, starting with bloodthirsty members of drug cartels. The fun never stops. So to speak.
TMC was filmed in Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta during the last months of 2020. Show runner was Neil Cross and executive producer/director was￼ Rupert Wyatt. Props to all who made this stomach-churning series so first-rate.
I won’t give away the ending but suffice it to say that the finale is a mashup of The Great Escape, Bonnie and Clyde, and the Fugitive that will have you clutching the remote with your teeth. And just when you thought you’d seen enough excitement to last a lifetime, Season 2 has just been announced. We can’t wait.