..

RETURN TO THE BLUE LAGOON

Review by Chastity Campbell

Stars: Milla Jovovich, Brian Krause
Director: William A. Graham
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo
Video: 1.33:1 Standard Full Screen
Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Features: See Review
Length: 101 Minutes
Release Date: November 5th, 2002

“Why don’t you just follow your heart?”

“She is my heart!”

Film ***

Return To The Blue Lagoon is a wonderful return to childish innocence that allows the watcher to loose him or herself in the glorious rapture of self-discovery.  That too deep for you guys?…Yeah, me too!  

Okay, so here’s what we’ve got…anybody who’s anybody knows that in 1980, Brooke Shields bared it all (well, almost all of it, anyway) in the movie The Blue Lagoon.  Shields’ character Emmeline and her stranded cohort Richard had a child and set sail from their island to find San Francisco.  Some unfortunate things happen and they end up dying, but their son survives and is rescued by a passing ship.   The boy ends up in the care of a woman by the name of Mrs. Hargrave, who is on board this ship with her own young daughter Lilly.  

The ship’s crew is sick, and when it’s found out that Cholera is the culprit the Captain sets Mrs. Hargrave and the two young children adrift in a dingy with a single crewman, in an attempt to save their lives.   The treacherous waters and endless days at sea drive the crewman mad and Mrs. Hargrave is forced to kill him in order to save the lives of the children as well as her own.   They land on an island, which turns out to be the same island from the first movie, and what do you know, the hut’s still standing!   It could use a little help from Bob Villa and the gang from This Old House but hey, you work with what you have.  Besides, where would Norm plug in his jig saw?

Unfortunately, Mrs. Hargrave gets caught out in a rainstorm and becomes very ill.  She dies not long after getting sick, which leaves Richard and Lilly alone to fend for themselves.  

A little sunlight, a dab of shadow, and movie magic means a few years have passed.  Richard and Lilly are teenagers now, and they find it harder and harder to deal with the new changes in each other physically and mentally.   Just when you think they are gonna end up on Jerry Springer, they kiss, make up, and get married!  (That bamboo ring of hers cost him a fortune, I hear!)  

Milla Jovovich does a fine job as the innocent and scantily clad Lilly.  She has those big soulful eyes that have the power to draw you into any character she plays.  Her co-star Brian Krause, better known for his role of Leo on the WB’s Charmed series was I’m sure the object of many a young school girls fantasies when this movie came out.   Krause’s perfect tan and brilliant smile in this flick is the stuff that Baywatch was made of!

Returning to the story, we find that a ship in need of a water drops anchor just off the coast and a small boat containing the Captain, a few crewman, and the Captain’s daughter Sylvia heads ashore. Lilly and Richard meet and greet the newcomers, and they all sit down to a beautifully prepared feast.  I’m thinking Lilly’s been taking some lessons from Martha Stewart, because she knows how to treat guests.  Eel soup, lobster, fresh papaya, and coconut shavings on the side, yummy!

Their good fortune isn’t good for very long however, as the Captain’s daughter tries to steal Lilly’s man, and the Captain’s security officer Mr. Quinlan wants to steal Lilly’s pearl!  One thing leads to another and before you know it, gunshots are fired, the ship has set sail, and there is a baby on the way. 

Return To The Blue Lagoon is a pretty good movie by early 90s standards.  It manages to entertain quite well, and you should have no trouble following the plot and storyline even if you have not seen the first movie.

Video ***

From the minute I popped this DVD in I was struck at how nicely all the colors seemed to blend together.   The colors were a bit flat in some scenes, but for the most part they were balanced well enough that the perfect tropical island platform was created.  This movie was transferred into a standard 1.33:1 full screen format.  I can’t help but believe, that a movie filmed in such a tropical location could have been better served in widescreen.  I will be the first to admit however, that this transfer had very little dirt and graininess to it, which allowed for the DVD to have a nice look and feel.

Audio **

I’ve heard better, but this wasn’t the worst!   Mixed and dubbed into a Dolby Digital Stereo mix this movie required me (on more than one occasion) to crank up the audio dial in order to be able to hear dialogue. I love natural background noise; it lends a helping hand in maintain a specific mood or feeling to a movie.   However, the background noise on this DVD was a bit overwhelming at times and tended to drown out the actors.   As I said, this isn’t the worst mix I have ever heard, but it was quite annoying to constantly have to turn the volume up, and then turn it down again.

Features *

This DVD contained the original movie trailer that was released in theatres for Return To The Blue Lagoon, as well as a bonus trailer for the Adam Sandler movie Mr. Deeds.  Unfortunately that’s all we get in this discs bag-o-trix!

Summary:

If you’re looking for a movie with beautiful bodies, perfect sandy beaches, and a hut that would make Gilligan and the Skipper swoon, then set sail for your nearest DVD retailer and pick up your copy of Return to the Blue Lagoon today.