"RETURN TO the Blue Lagoon" is very much a recap of the 1980 "Blue Lagoon," which, in turn, was a remake of an earlier version (1949) with Jean Simmons and Donald Houston as the two young people who grew up alone on a tropical island.
If you liked the 1980 version, you're certain to like the sequel. It has many of the same properties. It has been beautifully photographed, stars a couple of attractive unknowns in the leads and has them survive a series of adventures, including the discovery of sex.
If the new film overdoes, it is in this department, the sexual, although when compared to what is going on in other films and television, it is comparatively restrained.
The movie is occasionally cutesy. That's the worst of it. You can't call it gross, but it is cutesy.
Russian-born model Milla Jovovich and Brian Krause play the young people. The studio made a big thing of their casting. They said they were looking for unknowns, then they hired two people who have some experience.
In this sequel, Krause plays the son of the couple stranded on an island in the 1980 film, which starred Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins. The 1980 version ended with the discovery of the pair and their small son in a boat that was adrift.
The sequel says they died and that their son was picked up by a rescue ship, one that included among its passengers a widow with a small child, a girl. When cholera begins to thin the crew, the woman is put to sea, with her daughter and the son of the original couple.
They make it to an island and, after a time, the mother dies. When she does, the children grow, marry each other and beget a child -- but not before they meet island tribesmen and English visitors, a group that includes a pretty young woman, her father and an evil crewman who wants the pearl the girl is wearing in her hair.
There is also a shark, and we know what part it will play in the coming events. When it does, you cheer.
Krause seems very much at home in his role. Jovovich seems less sure of herself, but she is attractive. She looks very much like a young Rita Hayworth. In the end, the couple has a son, so it looks as though we may be in for another sequel, say, in about 10 more years.
William A. Graham directed "Return to the Blue Lagoon" on location in Fiji. It's a routine but very pretty film that is easy enough to watch. It opens here today.
'Return to the Blue Lagoon"
** The son of the original couple finds himself stranded with a girl whose mother has died.
CAST: Milla Jovovich, Brian Krause, Lisa Pelican
DIRECTOR: William A. Graham
RATING: PG-13 (violence, sex)
) RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes