MOSQUITO COAST – Review by Susan Granger

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Help! I’m hooked on this new, seven-episode adventure/drama/thriller series on Apple TV+.

Inspired by Paul Theroux’ 1981 novel, it revolves around idealistic inventor Allie Fox (Justin Theroux) who goes on the run with his wife Margot (Melissa George), rebellious teenage daughter Dina (Logan Polish) and middle-school-age son Charlie (Gabriel Bateman) when their house in Stockton, California, comes under bank foreclosure.

Although we’re not told why enigmatic Allie is a fugitive, law enforcement officials (Kimberly Elise, James LeGros) are determined to apprehend him. So after attempting to live off-the-grid, the foursome makes a fast getaway through Arizona, dodging border-patrolling vigilantes as they trudge into Mexico.

That’s where they encounter a vicious drug cartel boss (Ofelia Medina) and her American-born hitman (Ian Hart).

Outspoken Allie makes no secret of his distaste for America’s wasteful consumer culture and its unwillingness to care for its most needy citizens. But can he really lead his family to a utopian existence somewhere south of the border?

In writing the semi-megalomaniacal, MacGyver-like character of Allie Fox, Paul Theroux was allegedly influenced by Huckleberry Finn’s father, Jim Jones, and Joseph Smith, who founded Mormonism. Created by showrunners Neil Cross and Tom Bissell, its cautionary concept fits right into the Breaking Bad and Ozark genre.

Sharing the unusual surname ‘Theroux,’ it’s not surprising that author Paul is actor Justin’s uncle. And if the title seems familiar, it was previously made into a 1986 movie, directed by Peter Weir, starring Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren.

FYI: Apple TV+ offers a yearlong trial to those who purchase Apple gadgets. It’s a subscription service bankrolling original movies and TV shows, like “Ted Lasso.” Subscriptions cost $5@ month or $50@year. Apple is also including Apple TV+ with its Apple Music student-discount plan, offering both streaming services in the $5@month deal at no extra cost. And its seven-day free trial can be extended.

On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, The Mosquito Coast is a suspenseful 7, streaming on Apple TV+.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.