6.9/10
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132 user 67 critic

Return to Paradise (1998)

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Two friends must choose whether to help a third friend who was arrested in Malaysia for drug possession.

Director:

Joseph Ruben

Writers:

Pierre Jolivet (motion picture Force Majeure), Olivier Schatzky (motion picture Force Majeure) (as O. Schatzky) | 2 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vince Vaughn ... John 'Sheriff' Volgecherev
Anne Heche ... Beth Eastern
Joaquin Phoenix ... Lewis McBride
David Conrad ... Tony Croft
Vera Farmiga ... Kerrie
Nick Sandow ... Ravitch
Jada Pinkett Smith ... M.J. Major
Ming Lee Ming Lee ... Mr. Chandran
Joel de la Fuente ... Mr. Doramin
Richard Chang ... Prosecutor
James McCauley ... Famous Divorce Lawyer (as James Michael McCauley)
Brette Taylor ... Young Woman in Limo (as Brettanya Friese)
Deanna Yusoff Deanna Yusoff ... Woman in Bar
David Zayas ... Construction Foreman
Amy Wong Amy Wong ... Ticket Agent (as Amy Wong)
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Storyline

Three friends share an exciting vacation in Malaysia, full of fun, drinks, women and hash. When the vacation is over, each have dreams of continuing their lives, and they all go their separate ways. One of them (Phoenix) remains on the tropical paradise to fulfill a dream of working with apes for research. Two years later, a lawyer (Heche) comes to New York and hunts down the other two friends to give some sad news. A few days after they left the island, police raided their camp and found amazingly large quantities of hash left about. Phoenix was still residing there, so he had to take the blame. He is set to be put to death in 8 days, and the only way the charges can be decreased is if the two friends come back to paradise and take their share of the responsibilty. If they do, they both will spend three years in prison. If only one does, he will spend six years behind bars... Written by R.P. Falvey

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Give up three years of their lives or give up the life of their friend. They have eight days to decide.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, drug content, some sexuality and a scene of violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 August 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Long Way to Paradise See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,465,129, 16 August 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$8,288,513, 27 September 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cuba Gooding, Jr. turned down the role of Tony the architect. See more »

Goofs

[Around 55:00] Beth comes to John's home. She gives him a "ZABARS" bag of food. The door is wide open (we clearly see the outside is red and the inside is green) behind Beth. As John takes the bag, the door is suddenly closed, however no one has closed it. See more »

Quotes

Sheriff: Should I beware of lawyers bearing gifts?
See more »

Crazy Credits

In memory of DANNY ARNOLD See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Insider (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Sonata In F Minor
Written by Domenico Scarletti
See more »

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User Reviews

What Brokedown Palace should have been
5 June 2002 | by baybeeSee all my reviews

Return to Paradise is what Brokedown Palace should have been. Joaquin Phoenix, David Conrad and Vince Vaughn are 3 friends on a 5 week holiday in Penang. Joaquin stays behind and the others come home. Forward 2 years later a young lawyer tracks down the other 2 and they find out that Joaquin's character has been in prison for the past 2 years and they have 8 years to decide whether to take their share of the blame.

Joaquin Phoenix is the heart and soul of this movie. His performance is so poignant and real, he has truly come a long way since the 80s.

Vince Vaughn and Anne Heche are brilliant in their roles especially Anne Heche, she really took her character to another level and it was sometimes heartbreaking as her performance was so real.

This is one movie to check out if you haven't seen it. I did not know about this movie until 2 years ago when I saw it on cable and after just watching Brokedown Palace I was skeptical as it was really bad and I was so surprised when I watched Return to Paradise as it wasn't toned down or glossed over and all the principle actors were fantastic.

If you haven't seen it you certainly don't know what you're missing.


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