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Brokedown Palace

reviewed by Vivian Rose, age 14, from US

If you're planning a trip overseas, skip the movie "Brokedown Palace" - or you might just decide to skip the trip!

Claire Danes stars as Alice Merano, a troublemaker teen who talks her best friend Darlene into vacationing in Thailand (their parents think they're in Hawaii). Upon arrival, they stay in a cheap, roach-infested hovel that somehow passes for a motel and suffer in the summer heat. (I can't see this being anyone's idea of a fun vacation. If Darlene were smart - and less of a pushover- she would have become angry at this point and kicked Alice's butt for talking her into such a stupid idea.)

And the stupid ideas don't stop there. Alice lets Darlene talk her into flying to Hong Kong with Darlene's new boyfriend. (This two-timing jerk was coming on to Alice as well, but Darlene was more easily swayed, so he romanced her, and suggested the Hong Kong trip.) At the airport, Alice and Darlene are caught smuggling narcotics, although both claim to have no knowledge that the drugs were in Alice's luggage. (Alice was carrying the bag, but Darlene had packed it.)

Unfortunately, the justice system is pretty tough in Thailand, and Alice and Darlene are sentenced to 33 years in prison. (While the conditions in the Thailand jail seem crude and unclean, they don't appear to be much worse than Alice and Darlene's motel room.) The guards do treat the inmates roughly and unfairly, though.

Enter Yankee Hank (Bill Pullman), a lawyer who hopes to get them out of jail. To say the least, this is not an easy task.

The best thing I can say for "Brokedown Palace" is, at least it's not another poke-fun-at-those-stupid teenagers type comedies. Alternatively, "Brokedown Palace" is a feel-sorry-for-those-stupid-teenagers drama, which is just as bad. I'm sick of movies that imply that all teenagers have the mentality, naivete, and intelligence of a four-year-old. Whether this portrayal is supposed to be funny, or supposed to be sad and pity- pleading, it doesn't work, and it's hideously inaccurate.

My rating: 2 stars

Rating : Rated PG-13 (For brief strong language, drug related material and some violent content.)

Discuss "Brokedown Palace" or Vivian's review in Cyberkids Connection.

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