Return To Paradise (1998)

JOSEPH RUBEN

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5

USA, 1998.  PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, Propaganda Films, Tetragram.  Screenplay by , , based on the motion picture Force Majeure by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by . Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  

Remake of Force Majeure, about two friends (, ) approached by a lawyer () who beseeches them to return to Thailand where they recently vacationed with buddy Joaquin Phoenix.  It seems the drugs they’d had fun with while there were found by local police on Phoenix’s person and he is now in danger of being executed for dealing, unless his two friends return to the country to share a short jail sentence. Harrowing character drama has excellent acting by all involved, especially Heche, and even manages a few surprises. A plot similar to this was revisited with women in place of men the next year with Brokedown Palace starring Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale, and while this one is not as glamorous as Danny Boyle’s The Beach, it’s a better movie.

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