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Best to vote the hackneyed 'Eden' off the island

Best to vote the hackneyed 'Eden' off the island
Nate Parker plays Slim in "Eden." (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

"Survivor" meets "Lost" and "Lord of the Flies" in the new movie "Eden," a strictly by-the-numbers psychodrama about a plane full of American soccer players that crashes off an uninhabited Malaysian island.

Returning home from a World Cup match, U.S. team captain Slim (Nate Parker) has his fear of flying validated when the players' chartered plane plunges into the Pacific, killing 22.

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For Slim and the other dozen or so survivors, decompression sickness and a diminishing water supply prove to be the least of their worries as mounting suspicions and paranoia take their toll, especially on teammate Andy (Ethan Peck, Gregory's grandson).

Commercial director Shyam Madiraju, making his feature debut, demonstrates a spare, sinewy visual grip on the low-budget film, especially during that crash sequence. But the mechanical script strands a capable young cast in a sea of hackneyed character types and soggy platitudes.

It would have been nice if the story's two surviving female castaways (played by Jessica Lowndes and Nicole Pedra) had been given a greater purpose than simply providing sexual tension/relief among the players.

By the time good-guy Slim and the increasingly crazed Andy finally face off in an inevitable alpha male smackdown, the viewer will long ago have wished to have been voted off the island.

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"Eden."

MPAA rating: R for violence, language, some sexuality.

Running time: 1 hour, 37 minutes.

Playing: AMC Universal CityWalk 19.

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