BROKEDOWN PALACE

1 Stars
Year Released: 1999
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 100 minutes
Click to Expand Credits:

SING IT WITH ME! ^ Dooooh dooh dooh do do… ^ Dooooh dooh dooh do do… ^ I don’t wanna wait… ^ For our lives to be over… ^
Joey (Kate Beckinsdale as Darlene) and Jen (Claire Daines as Alice) decide to blow off a trip to Hawaii to have an adventure in Thailand. The girls get in minor mischief until they run into friendly Australian Nick (Daniel Lapaine). Both girls fall for his exotic charm, but the boy has some less honorable intentions. He talks the girls into a quick trip to meet him in Hong Kong, and before you know it, they get busted when 2kg of heroin mysteriously appears in their bags. Oh, what will Dawson and Pacey think? Find out, this week on “Dawson’s Creek”.
I’ve said it before, and it’s still true. The best thing about a movie like this is I never have to see it again. Who the hell was this movie made for? Are teenagers going to rush out to see a flick about their peers stuck in some foreign hell-hole prison? “Return to Paradise” mined the old “Midnight Express” route last year (and did MUCH better). Wasn’t that enough? I knew I was in trouble before the credits were even over and the “Creek”-esque soundtrack had kicked in.
The premise alone, is a little shaky. The two girls are supposed to be from a small town in Ohio. Now, I grew up on the Ohio border, and I’m having trouble convincing myself that two 18-year-old white girls from there would ever pick Bangkok over Hawaii. Also, even if only one of them lied to their parents about their destination, if I had a daughter like this, I wouldn’t let her go to Los Angeles without an adult, much less a third world country famous for drugs and underage prostitutes (although that would be motivation for two 18-year-old boys to pick Bangkok). Then again, L.A. is famous for… oh, never mind.
What truly perplexes me is veteran director Jonathan Kaplan. There’s NO sense of humor in this film. Kaplan started his career working for Roger Corman. He should know how this kind of film works. Where’s the shower scene? Where’s the cat-fight? Where’re the lesbian love scene? OH, WHERE’S THE DAMN JOY OF A WOMEN’S PRISON FLICK?! “Brokedown Palace” is no “Reform School Girls”.
If I want to watch teenagers act like idiots, I can go to the mall. If I want to take some kind of moral lesson from a movie or watch some sort of cautionary tale, I’ll go back and watch “Iron Giant” again, a film made to ENJOY.



Posted on August 16, 1999 in Reviews by
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