The Beach (2000)

THE BEACH is a big-assed bore.  Two hours of TITANIC terror Leonar-
do DiCaprio traipsing around Thailand, first in Bangkok and then 
onto a hidden island paradise.  There, he and his hand-picked-for-
a-reason-that-the-film-never-explains French companions (Virginie 
Ledoyen and the babe-o-licious Guillaume Canet) discover that Shan-
gri-La is also inhabited, by both a band of armed marijuana growers 
and a self-sustaining colony of civilization-shunners.  (And whose  
bamboo architectural style was obviously inspired by watching re-
runs of "Gilligan's Island"...)  Neither side bothers the other, 
provided that the good guys accept absolutely *no* other visitors.  
Luckily, Leo and Company arrive unnoticed.  Not-so-luckily, Leo 
made a copy of the map that got them there and left it with some 
surfer dudes on the mainland.  Which means, of course, that at some 
point in the proceedings, the paradise is going to crumble.  People 
will surely get killed, even if their names aren't Shirley, and ev-
eryone's dreams will turn to shit.  (And all of which happens and 
more, including a bizarre APOCALYPSE NOW-inspired twist that has 
Leo alone in the jungle, stalking everyone and digging man-traps.  
Huh?)  In addition to careless cartography, Leo's frequently shirt-
less character makes other bone-headed decisions.  Each is more 
forehead slapping than the next and each adds to an unwelcome in-
congruity in his characterization.  (The actor *looks* at least ten 
years older than his character *acts*.)  There are other plenty of 
other problems with the movie, mind you, from tone to plots points 
that leapfrog forward with not a care to comprehensibility.  If you 
don't bolt by the butt-numbing hour mark, then at least you'll see 
*one* amazing sight-- a human leg turned to hamburger after a shark 
attack *and* the accompanying yards-long trail of bloody sand.  
Cool.  With Tilda Swinton and Robert Carlyle.  From the TRAINSPOT-
TING slash SHALLOW GRAVE slash LIFE LESS ORDINARY team of director 
Danny Boyle, Writer John Hodge (from the novel by Alex Garland) and 
producer Andrew Macdonald.  (Rated "R"/118 min.)

Grade: C-

Copyright 2000 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies as MOVIE HELL: Leo Takes Off His Shirt And The Audience Falls Asleep

Home   |   Reviews   |   Views   |   Letters   |   Links   |   FAQ   |   Search!

Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros - Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros