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Overall Rating
2.77

Awesome: 5.84%
Worth A Look: 32.47%
Average: 10.39%
Pretty Bad35.71%
Total Crap: 15.58%

11 reviews, 88 user ratings



Beach, The
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by Hawkboy

"If nothing else, it works as a travelogue."
4 stars

That's it. Never again will I read a book before I see the movie. All you illiterate Americans have the right idea. For my enjoyment of "The Beach" was constantly undermined by the nerdy part of my brain that enjoys reading books, who kept poking my fun sensor and telling it that "This was different in the book".

Turning a book into a movie must be tricky. For every success like "The Godfather", there's at least ten movies that just have no idea how to condense 300-400 pages into a coherent story. And to those of us who read the book beforehand, it's nearly impossible to enjoy the movie, because we're constantly getting frustrated because we think we know what's going to happen next, and then it doesn't, and then something completely different happens, and you eventually throw your plate of nachos at the screen, shouting "Sic Semper Tyrannis!" Or something like that.

So, with that in mind, I'm happy to report that I enjoyed "The Beach", the new joint effort from Leonardo DiCaprio and the boys behind "Trainspotting", Danny Boyle, John Hodge, and Andrew MacDonald. Truth be told, being a heterosexual male, the concept of seeing Leo running around with his shirt off in a beach setting for two hours didn't get me all a-tingle, but I was interested in seeing how Boyle and company would handle the subject material. I am apparently the only person who really loved "A Life Less Ordinary" with all my heart, so my hopes were high. And, for the most part, they were met.

Das Plot: Richard (Leo D.) is vacationing in Thailand, for some indeterminate length of time, and seems to be OK with communicating with the folks back home once every two months. He meets up with Daffy (played by Robert Carlyle in a nifty cameo) who tells him of a magical beach, and gives him a map. Richard shares the map with two good-lookin' French folk, and they head off to find this beach. They eventually find it, and find that this bunch of hippy-type people have set up a whole mini-society, with lots and lots of pot, and apparently a large supply of electrical equipment (they even have a techno dance party at one point). Every few months, they go back to the mainland to buy tampons, but otherwise, they've cut themselves off entirely from society. It looks like paradise. But what looked to be perfect.........is NOT. There are <gasp> deep undercurrents of danger and menace and evil lurking under the pristine surfaces. How odd and unexpected.

First off: The locations are phenomenal. Absolutely beautiful stuff. The acting is solid, as well. Leo actually plays the role somewhat unsympathetically, which is a brave choice - after all the "Titanic" stuff, he could have stuck to the romantic lead roles, but he didn't - sure, he gets laid a couple times in the movie (something that didn't happen in the book, but hey - it's DiCaprio), but he plays an edgy role and does it well. The two good-looking French people are good as well, although they're basically there to respond to Leo's behaviour. The only supporting character that's really defined is Sal (Tilda Swinton), who manages to project auras of both maternal care and real menace. Everyone else is pretty well backdrop.

My one complaint is with the music - with the "Trainspotting" team working on this, I was a little disappointed with the amount of swirling romantic arias used in the movie. It made it all a little too sappy. All the other technical aspects of the film were top-notch; despite the complaints I'd heard about the whole "video game" scene, it really wasn't that big a deal. It took up about a minute of screen time - if it was a half-hour scene, it would be a little stupid, but this was nothing to write home about.

So, to do the whole summing-up thing, "The Beach" is a good movie that slows down a bit in its second half, but has an ending that actually manages to improve on the book's, in my opinion. It's worth the time spent seeing it once, just for the visceral thrill that comes with all of Hodge, Boyle, and MacDonald's work. It doesn't really hold up under much scrutiny, but whatever. I liked it, and I really don't like Leo, so there you go.

I especially enjoyed the fact that Americans really didn't come across well in the film - they were basically seen as obnoxious idiots who screwed everything up for everyone. You know, just like in real life.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3453&reviewer=27
originally posted: 02/17/00 06:46:44
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell boring IMHO 1 stars
7/18/10 PAUL SHORTT ENGAGING AND INTERESTING 3 stars
10/15/07 fools&#9835;gold danny boyle in all his perfectness 5 stars
5/02/07 Vin Mostly good, ending a bit weak though 4 stars
2/04/07 William Goss A Gen-X Lord-of-the-Flies that isn't nearly as profound as it thinks it is. 2 stars
2/01/07 Matt If the movie doesn't even know what it's trying to say, how should we? 2 stars
10/01/06 Beau i loved it, action packed movie with a hint of horror. Loved the secrecy in it. 5 stars
5/04/06 tatum Dull mumbo-jumbo, Leo is really terrible 2 stars
5/03/06 Anthony Feor Leo's career is flushed down the toilet 1 stars
2/22/06 Ronin a very interesting script 4 stars
8/30/05 LS Galvin Very pleasing to the eye - worth a watch! 4 stars
8/18/05 ES Says a lot about society, betrayal and waste, but they went with the goof as a lead= bad 2 stars
5/17/05 Indrid Cold Strange, dull story. 2 stars
2/13/05 Alice Colwell not bad 4 stars
12/09/04 Kristina Williams bad choice to follow up Titanic. MORE water?! 2 stars
12/07/04 Gaza This film is crap. Danny continues his downward spiral that bottoms out in teh aweful 28 Da 2 stars
9/10/04 jeff good movie till it turns weird close to the ending. 4 stars
9/09/03 Niels Hesse REALLY GOOD MOVIE 5 stars
8/28/03 Mr. Hat Really good script and acting, and great directing. 4 stars
7/11/03 Kelli cool 4 stars
2/26/03 Blabity blah Didn't know if it wanted to be the Blue Lagoon or Apocoplyse Now 2 stars
9/29/02 Fuze44 I wanted the main character to die. 1 stars
9/24/02 I Can't Swim You shitheads that hate Leo should choke on my prostate gland 5 stars
5/18/02 azzouz mohamed rachid doctor 5 stars
2/20/02 Monster W. Kung Superficial and annoying. What a disappointment after Trainspotting. 2 stars
1/16/02 Cookie Cutter Pretty moronic and fake, though the scenery is beautiful. 2 stars
10/09/01 Mark Conway Starts off well, but then struggles to make any real inpact, poor plot, leo's too fucked up 3 stars
9/13/01 Gary Poor adaptation that skims over the novel's themes. Ledoyen & the photography are good tho. 2 stars
7/29/01 Mike Hunt I thought Leo met his demise on the Titanic! Too bad. 1 stars
6/21/01 Tzila Seewald It's disgusting movie! 2 stars
6/07/01 Rampage I hate your review, Hawk, you used to be reliable, now you give this dumb movie four stars 1 stars
4/23/01 Luke Great movie. 5 stars
4/16/01 Tam Exotic and memorable yarn, beautiful scenery, but a bit thin on plot. 4 stars
3/02/01 lisa psycho! they're all nuts 1 stars
2/22/01 Fredy Great movie if you go see it high. Nardo really sucks though. 2 stars
2/15/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) =| 3 stars
12/07/00 Stuntman One of the worst in a whole line of screwed up teenybopper movies. Damn you Leo! 1 stars
11/20/00 natasha a little uneven, but some interesting ideas played well 4 stars
10/16/00 Dan Stunning scenery and good cinematography, but Hodge sure fucked up the story. 2 stars
9/27/00 mephetic Haha, this movie is pretty damn funny. It ALMOST makes Leo cool. 4 stars
9/15/00 Overflow Bitch Very good, VERY VERY UNDERRATED. Well written, interesting, great scenery all around. 4 stars
9/12/00 Ground Zero DiCaprio is the parasite... terminate with extreme prejuice... 1 stars
9/04/00 The Extreaminizer Good If you want to see DeCrapio smoke pot for 2 hours, anyways, it sucks major ass 1 stars
8/04/00 skeletor de-CRAP-io sucks 1 stars
7/30/00 The Bomb 69 what's up with the video game sequence? plot holes the size of Montana 2 stars
7/04/00 Tandi Pretty good a bit odd at times though! 4 stars
5/05/00 everythingsucks purty scenery, a few plot holes 4 stars
4/29/00 Pansy Screw Leo Di Caprio and his mom 2 stars
4/09/00 saMas Too many plot holes. could have been more entertaining 4 stars
4/04/00 Tim Total Shit Ass 1 stars
3/29/00 Zappa Not a good adaptation, but probably ok if your standards aren't that high. 3 stars
3/27/00 Coolio The best fucking movie i have ever seen. 5 stars
3/23/00 Laura Not bad for a Leo Dicap film 4 stars
3/22/00 Brigid McFoster If you can get over the fact that it is not like the book you may just think it is okay 3 stars
3/22/00 rebecca great movie!! 4 stars
3/20/00 Leonardo Dicaprio Adventure, action, comedy, and all round excellent 5 stars
3/20/00 MR HOLLYWOOD!! Leonardo should stick to SINKING! All i can say is BOORRRIINNGGGG 2 stars
3/18/00 DK Not a get away from the bad guys as previews suggest 4 stars
3/16/00 KEVIN DALEY TERRIBLE 1 stars
3/15/00 Lame-Oh WTH? Gilligan's Island on ludes 1 stars
3/12/00 Pix everything about this film is crap 1 stars
3/10/00 m0vieboy The whole video game scene ruined the movie!! 2 stars
3/03/00 Ben Ryan WTF? Nothing like the previews make you think. Good location shots, horrible acting. 3 stars
3/02/00 Bornslippy ripped the novel apart, only commentable aspects were music and cinematography 2 stars
2/29/00 Captain Highcrime A "Gilligan's Island" tale strictly for the girls and their "little buddy" vibrators. 3 stars
2/25/00 Bozo Not half as bad as you miserable cocksuckers are making it out to be 4 stars
2/22/00 toneely sucked so bad 1 stars
2/22/00 Chartsy Horrible reviews elsewhere lowered my expectations I think. 4 stars
2/22/00 Mr. Kramitall I Know What You Did Last Summer on vacation... horrible! 1 stars
2/22/00 Overflow Bitch Not as good as I had hoped, but still a fresh change, and Leo was pretty good. 4 stars
2/22/00 amy r. dawson pretty damned good. 4 stars
2/21/00 Melissa Good flick, I like Leo better now. More entertaining than the book. 4 stars
2/19/00 Lame-Oh The only answer to Leo's crummy acting... he's one lousy pissant. 1 stars
2/19/00 Mortis I enojyed the movie for what it was... a movie. I was entralled. 4 stars
2/19/00 Matthew Bartley Very good and interesting 4 stars
2/16/00 Kyle Broflovski Leo's about to lose his mojo...and it shows... 3 stars
2/15/00 Neil Austin Not a bad film, stop comparing every Boyle film to Trainspotting, cause he won't top it. 4 stars
2/15/00 JJ a real stinker, 1 stars
2/15/00 Chris Wheeler Spent the whole time thinking of better things I could be doing. 1 stars
2/15/00 Cheaps Better than I thought. Entertaining. 4 stars
2/13/00 Roman Hmmm it was very interesting... 3 stars
2/13/00 majawat A pretty, bad movie 3 stars
2/13/00 toneely This movie sucked really bad. I didn't care if they all had got ate by sharks 1 stars
2/13/00 Terrance and Philip this movie was better than looking for pennies up my bum!<BR>ASS-TASTIC! 5 stars
2/13/00 Gavin Moore This movie is a rental at best. I feel raped for spending 14 dollars. 1 stars
2/12/00 Catherine Leo is gay, Gay, GAY!!!!! 1 stars
2/12/00 Lame-Oh Goddam this trash! That Leo is one sorry-ass maggot. Bitchslap that miserable puke! 1 stars
2/11/00 Bob Jones Its got that fag from titanic in it, it sucks the _fat_ one 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  11-Feb-2000 (R)
  DVD: 22-Oct-2002

UK
  N/A

Australia
  09-Mar-2000 (MA)




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