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Overall Rating

Awesome: 12.5%
Worth A Look: 6.94%
Average: 25%
Pretty Bad34.72%
Total Crap: 20.83%

7 reviews, 30 user ratings

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Brokedown Palace
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by Scott Weinberg

"Finally, an animated version of Midnight Express!"
2 stars

When will moviemakers learn that simply copying a better movie and going through the motions will simply not cut it? This one is a cross between those leering, chintzy girls-in-prison movies (which are usually good for a quick toss) and a serious drama that wants to propose issues about loyalty and roach-infested hellhole prisons. It is pretty sloppy on both counts.

When describing skills such as acting talent, skill of timing, and the ability to hold a scene, Claire Danes ranks right above an empty gumball machine and right below Pauly Shore covered with festering scabs. She has the market cornered on the vacant stare, and any drama that expects her to fit is begging for a swift death or a reviewer in a good mood. Well, I'm not. Actually, right now I'm feeling pretty annoyed with any carbon-copy rip-off of a considerably better movie, even taking into account that Midnight Express is over 20 years old.

So dummy girl #1 (Danes) and dummy girl #2 (Kate Beckinsale) decide to tell everyone they're going to Hawaii, but really they go to THAILAND! (snicker giggle) So there they are, in Thailand. There are bugs and it is hot and they take pictures and drink alcohol and meet a guy. He screws one of them (the non-Claire Danes one) and then they fly to Hong Kong, only they unknowingly smuggle a large amount of illegal drugs in their luggage. (One thing that made me want to throw my shoe at the screen: If this 93-pound idiot was carrying an extra 8 pounds of drugs in her carry-on, she'd KNOW IT!) They're promptly carted off to a horrible squalid hell=hole. They cry a lot and get mad and call Daddy and a lawyer, but they're basically screwed.

So we have all these prison movie cliches paraded in front of us:

Hey, the girls in prison aren't real friendly.

Hey, the warden may take a bribe, but on the other hand she might get furious and get creative with a garden hose and some cottage cheese, so be careful.

Hey, these swampland countries don't take kindly to fancy-pants Yankees thinking they're all superior, even though these teen idols are eventually forced to poop in a clay bowl.

Hey, freedom comes from within and you can soar majestically over the mountains simply by having hope. Yeah sure, if you can forget the fact that you ate lice for breakfast and you have to use wicker tampons.

Poor Jonathan Kaplan. If this directors career were a bar graph, it would look like the silhouette of a large, flaccid weiner. Since The Accused, he's directed Immediate Family, Unlawful Entry, Bad Girls, and this dreck. Somehow Bill Pullman and Lou Diamond Philips entertain, however briefly. And there is a cool scene where dummy #2's rich Daddy tears into Claire Danes and blames her for the whole mess. It was a nasty scene, and I would have liked some more nastiness. Nasty would have been nice.

What's to be said for a movie that aims to be Return to Paradise? At least that one had Vince Vaughn and a hot lesbian! This is more like a prison movie-lite. Half the calories and a lot less filling. Recommended a little to any spoiled teenage girls, as a warning to say Thank You when Mommy pays her credit card bill. A final warning, in the form of a math equation: 1 prison + 2 actresses + this movie = Zero breasts. You were warned.

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originally posted: 11/23/99 20:11:07
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User Comments

2/18/10 art IT STINK"S! 1 stars
9/22/08 Shaun Wallner Boring! 2 stars
1/14/07 Dave P. The Royal Thai Police are not as stupid as this movie portrays them. 2 stars
11/18/04 jessica i like it. I vegged out to it. It reminded me of my devilish days as a teenager. 4 stars
10/30/04 Vince Not bad, not great. 4 stars
10/26/04 silver the acting was good, but everything else was bad! what is up with the ending? 1 stars
7/10/04 Confessions Of A Teenage Trauma Queen C'mon Eric, being picky eaters who don't speak Thai is enough to make you "ugly Americans"? 3 stars
3/02/04 Get cast's names right, for pete's sake It's Kate Beckinsale, NOT Beckinsdale! Movie so-so. Depressed see the Thai that binds. 3 stars
9/22/03 Paul I really liked the drama from the director. 5 stars
7/01/03 Dr. Bitterpants Attention next film festival: A double feature with this and "Caged Heat" is a bad idea. 2 stars
5/01/03 WALMART iz KRAP Dis movie wus Krap, but Kate Beckinsale (a name no one's ever heard of) iz still pretty hot 2 stars
5/17/02 Darlene Groetz The movie where Claire Danes became a zombie of the tragic wands. 3 stars
3/28/02 Pretty good! I liked it a lot! But the whole Cockroach thing...GROSS! 5 stars
2/27/02 Good God!!!!!!!! Maybe if this movie was a little less friendhisp & more lesbianism, it coulda not sucked! 2 stars
7/10/01 Piz very engaging and well performed..was a little "out there" at times. 4 stars
6/19/01 hmmm This movie is not about lesbianism you moron, it's about friendship. Grow up. 5 stars
4/25/01 Cruelhuntsman Kate and Amanda make the film special. 5 stars
2/27/01 Peter Lloyd A little bit lightweight, but a very watchable film 4 stars
1/29/01 Ashley Snelgrove This is a wicked movie, this and "save the last dance" are my favorites 5 stars
12/07/00 robyn so sad in the end!! 5 stars
10/02/00 Madoc69 a good cautionary tale of travel and trust 3 stars
3/14/00 brentley Lackluster movie. Rent it if you have no other choice. 2 stars
1/05/00 Joel Harwood What a movie 5 stars
1/02/00 Anthony Burroughs Nothing to brag about here, see it for Claire Danes 3 stars
12/09/99 Mike Nugget Yep...the lump in my throat .....Claire Danes is defintely good at what she does 5 stars
9/05/99 Weird Andy I hoped to see Claire Danes caned. Let down by Hollywood yet again. 2 stars
8/21/99 Tristynn Clare is amazing. Very scary movie..must see for any potential travellers to Asia..WOW!! 4 stars
8/19/99 David U. ( Sucks Ass 1 stars
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  13-Aug-1999 (PG-13)



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