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Return to Paradise

Director:Joseph Ruben
Writers:Wesley Strick and Bruce Robinson
Polygram Filmed Entertainment; R; 109 minutes
Cast:Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, Joaquin Phoenix, David Conrad and Vera Farmiga

Return to Paradise recalls Midnight Express, though it lacks the urgency that made Express a classic. After a month of partying in Penang, three college buddies go their separate ways. Two years pass, and Sheriff (Vaughn) and Tony (Conrad) learn their friend, Lewis (Phoenix) is in a Malaysian jail, having been accused of being a drug dealer. It was actually Sheriff's carelessness that led to Lewis' arrest, and attorney Beth Eastern (Heche) informs Sheriff and Tony that Lewis will be spared death only if they return to Penang and serve a three-year jail sentence. Too much time is spent on the blossoming romance between Beth and Sheriff and not enough on Lewis' dire predicament and his friends' moral morass.

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