Projections - Movie Reviews

Return To Paradise

The questioning of foreign judicial systems and a life and death dilemma two men are required to face are explored in a rather slow moving melo-drama.

Beth Eastern (Anne Heche) suddenly appears in the lives of Sheriff (Vince Vaughn) and Tony (David Conrad) carrying the message that their friend, Lewis (Joaquin Phoenix) is about to be hanged in Penang, Malaysia for activities the three engaged in two years before.

Lewis is the least ugly of the three ugly Americans who cavort on a spree in the idyllic south east asian nation known for its harsh penal system.  They use native women, take drugs and generally self indulge.  Tony and Sheriff return home leaving Lewis to face life in a dark dangerous prison.

Unlike Midnight Express the pain of incarceration is not the focus, the uncomfortable task of requesting that two men who are home free renter the dangerous world of Malaysian justice is.  That evolution moves deliberately but slowly and is filled with traps, contradictions and twists.

The dramatic day in court climaxes the long journey back to paradise which has turned mad for the three friends.

Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, Joaquin Phoenix and David Conrad are very effective in roles which are at times not particularly believable.  Jada Pinkett Smith has a very limited bland role as the evil reporter who destroys all the best plans of lawyer Beth.

It is rated (R) for sex and implied violence.

Return To Paradise


Home | Search | Reviewer Bios | Links | Mail Us
Copyright © 2005 Projections