Club Paradise

"Terrible"

Club Paradise Review


Before "celebrity" reality shows, ensemble comedies were the lifelines that kept failing showbiz careers from bottoming out. This subgenre was like a post-Thanksgiving meal concocted of small quantities of disparate leftovers. It was never particularly good, but if one dish didn't taste good, at least you had a dozen other Tupperwares to open.

Club Paradise is a prototypical specimen, starring a dozen actors in career lulls, including Mork, Twiggy, a gaggle of Second City vets, Jimmy Cliff, and even Lawrence of Friggin' Arabia. A word of warning: these leftovers are rotten.

We get a prologue in snowy Chicago, where firefighter Jack Monicker (Robin Williams, before he had a good agent) narrowly escapes death by explosion, so he hangs up his flame retardants and retires to a Caribbean island. Jack befriends down-on-his-luck beachfront hotelier and reggae singer Ernest (Cliff) and helps him rehab his resort and bring in wealthy American tourists. Meanwhile, corrupt officials are conspiring to take Ernest's club away, and a people's revolt is brewing on the island.

It's all incredibly stupid, especially the exploits of the American guests, most of whom starred on but never really got famous on Saturday Night Live and SCTV. Peter O'Toole slums as the cynical British governor-general of the island. And then there's Jack's love interest, Twiggy, in a sub-plot that gets about 90 seconds of screen time, and deserves less.

Williams himself is a problem as well. Because the character of Jack is so ill-defined, you can actually see Williams struggle to hold back the breakneck stand-up comic inside his brain. In other, more definitive roles (Moscow on the Hudson, Dead Poets Society, Awakenings) he's been able to find the proper balance, but he spends much of Club Paradise apologetically riffing past the lackluster lines he's been handed.

If you've got a penchant for screwball ensemble pieces and a miserable life, Club Paradise might divert your mind for 95 minutes. But if you've don't have something better to do with those 95 minutes, might I recommend a cooking class?



Facts and Figures

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th July 1986

Production compaines: Warner Bros.

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

IMDB: 4.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Jack Moniker, as Governor Anthony Cloyden Hayes, as Barry Nye, as Ernest Reed, as Phillipa Lloyd, as Prime Minister Solomon Grundy, as Barry Steinberg, as Terry Hamlin, as Linda White, as Voit Zerbe, as Pilot, Steven Kampmann as Randy White, Robin Duke as Mary Lou, as Jackie


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Amy Movie Review

Amy Movie Review

As with his Formula One documentary Senna, filmmaker Asaf Kapadia cleverly uses archival footage to...

Terminator Genisys Movie Review

Terminator Genisys Movie Review

This declining franchise really needed a jolt to the head, but the producers disappointingly opt...

Magic Mike XXL Movie Review

Magic Mike XXL Movie Review

Resisting the temptation to capitalise on the camp value of these characters, Channing Tatum and...

She's Funny That Way Movie Review

She's Funny That Way Movie Review

Wacky enough to make us smile but never laugh out loud, this screwball comedy harks...

Advertisement
Everly Movie Review

Everly Movie Review

A relentless onslaught of violent action, this movie is notable mainly because there's a woman...

Slow West Movie Review

Slow West Movie Review

First-time feature filmmaker John Maclean takes a strikingly original approach to the Western, creating a...

Mr. Holmes Movie Review

Mr. Holmes Movie Review

Despite this being a film about Sherlock Holmes, the fact that it's not much of...

Entourage Movie Review

Entourage Movie Review

Both shameless and shamelessly entertaining, this relentlessly boyish movie carries on exactly as the TV...

Advertisement