tek's rating: ¾

Return to the Blue Lagoon (PG-13)
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Caution: potential spoilers.

This 1991 film is a sequel to the 1980 film The Blue Lagoon. (It's supposedly based on a 1923 novel which was a sequel to the original 1908 novel, though I never read either of them, and the internet tells me this movie is nothing like the book.) I must have seen this sometime in the early 90s, on TV or VHS, though I didn't see the original until 2013, on DVD. And the next night, I watched this on DVD. Um... so, I put my review of the first movie under "coming of age," but I didn't really want to put my review of the sequel in that category... it does have that aspect to it, and in many respects the sequel is practically a remake of the original... up to a point. Beyond that point, the sequel has more of a plot than the original, and so I enjoyed it more. But not much more, because it's still not much of a plot. Both movies might be called romances, but I personally don't see either one as romantic enough to categorize as such. I suppose either movie could be called "period," since they're both set in the 19th century, but seeing as there's practically no contact with civilization, that seems pointless. So, whatever, I'm just calling this one "drama." Oh, and I want to say I'm surprised that this movie is PG-13, whereas the original was rated R, because both movies had nudity, but neither movie really seemed terribly explicit. (In fact, there was a kiss in this movie that I thought was sexier than anything in the original.) And this one actually had a bit more violence than the original.

Anyway, in the original, these kids named Richard and Emmeline are stranded on a tropical island together, and they grow up, and eventually nature takes its course, and they have a kid of their own. (Actually, they were still in their early teens, I guess, but they were grown up enough.) At the end of the movie, they end up drifting out to sea with their son, Paddy (who was at the time a toddler, as near as I could tell). They apparently die on the boat, before being found by people on a ship... including Richard's father. But it sort of sounds like they might be alive, so... I dunno. Anyway, in the sequel, Richard and Emmeline are definitely dead (and I also got the impression they were supposed to be slightly older than it seemed like they were in the original movie). But Paddy is alive, when the boat is found by a ship. (By the way, this happens in 1897, though I don't think any years were specifically mentioned in the original.) But unlike the end of the original, in the sequel, the ship does not include Richard's father. Instead, it's just a random ship. But there's a widow aboard named Sarah Hargraves, who has her infant daughter, Lilli, with her. (The internet will say her name was Hargrave, but I'm fairly sure I heard people in the movie say "Hargraves," and at one point we definitely see the name Hargraves written, so... the internet is wrong.) Anyway, Sarah begins looking after the toddler, whom she calls Richard. (The internet tells me this is because that's the only word- his father's name- that the kid knew, and I do remember him saying it once in the original movie, though I never heard him say it in this one.)

But soon it's discovered that there's an outbreak of cholera on the ship, so the captain puts Sarah, Lilli, and Richard on a life boat, along with a member of his crew who turns out not to be trustworthy. So Sarah ends up killing him. Awhile after that, the boat reaches an island, which turns out to be the one from the original movie. After awhile, the movie flashes forward several years, so Richard and Lilli are probably getting close to ten years old now (but as I said in my earlier review, I suck at judging ages). And as in the original, they spend a lot of time wearing practically nothing. But at least Sarah has had plenty of time to teach them things, like reading and writing, and to raise them as good little Christians. And she sort of explains the facts of life, which is more than the kids from the first movie ever heard. But it's not too long after that, that Sarah gets sick and dies, and then the movie flashes forward about six years. (This is like 40 minutes or so into the movie.) So, Lilli is now played by Milla Jovovich, and Richard is played by Brian Krause (who was like 22, though his character must have been more like 16). Jovovich was probably 15 or 16 when the movie was made.

Anyway, um... we see slightly more of the neighboring heathens in this movie than we did in the original, but they really aren't important to the plots of either movie. Except to get the teenagers worried about mortality, which makes them realize how much they care about each other. So, Richard and Lilli decide to marry each other. Not long after that, a ship shows up, looking to take on fresh water. Of course the crew is surprised to find castaways, but they plan to bring them back to civilization. And Richard and Lilli are excited about that, at first. But of course there are a couple of problems. One is the captain's daughter, Sylvia, who is obviously interested in Richard, and doesn't consider his marriage to Lilli to be official. (When they first meet, Sylvia assumes the two are siblings, and I think Lilli correcting her is the only thing I clearly remember from the first time I saw the movie.) The other problem is one of the sailors, I think he was named Quinlan. He obviously had a sexual interest in Lilli, as well as an interest in a pearl she wore in her hair (which Richard had given her earlier). So, while Sylvia turns out to be kind of a bitch, Quinlan is actually dangerous.

And I don't really want to say how it all ends (except that over the end credits there is a terrible song by Surface). I guess the movie is generally considered inferior to the original (possibly way inferior), but like I said, I prefer this one. Maybe in part it's nostalgia (even though I barely remember anything about it and never thought it was that good to begin with), but really I do think the plot is more interesting. I do think that the original was better for what it was trying to be, which was something simpler than this, so I can understand anyone liking it better. (Though I don't think many people think either movie was really great.) But, I dunno... I really don't think either movie was very good, but... I liked this more, and I stand by that. For whatever it's worth. (Which isn't much.) Um... also I want to say that Sarah and Sylvia were both reasonably easy on the eyes, but Lilli was just gorgeous....

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