Swimming in Familiarity
I can sort of see why after 11 years they decided to make a sequel to "The Blue Lagoon", partly to give a new generation that same magical feeling and partly to elaborate on the story. But what that means is that "Return to the Blue Lagoon" ends up 70% remake and just 30% embellishment with new young stars Milla Jovovich and Brian Krause for young audiences to watch frolic around half naked. It just doesn't really work and lacks the magic of the original although then the one major change does sort of work.
"Return to the Blue Lagoon" picks up sort of where "The Blue Lagoon" ends as the boat containing Richard, Emmeline and their baby Paddy is picked up. But in this case Richard and Emmeline are dead and as the only word that young Paddy can say is Richard the small boy gets that name. We are also introduced to Sarah Hargrave and her daughter Lilli who just happen to be travelling on the ship. To cut a long story short the boat they are on has cholera, Sarah, Lilli and Richard end up in a row boat and miraculously floating back to the island from which Richard came.
So whilst we have this different opening the end result is we are back on the island with one adult and two young children and what follows is basically a remake of the first movie. We see them hunt for food, become wary of the tribal visitors, swim and in the case of Richard and Lilli start to grow from young children to eventually teens. What we do get this time is Sarah who tries to teach them the way of the world, pre-warning Lilli about monthly periods, speaking to them both about marriage and when she falls sick tells them what to do when she dies. It provides a bit of variation but for the most "Return to the Blue Lagoon" is just a remake of "The Blue Lagoon".
And this sense of being a remake continues when we get to Richard and Lilli as young teens alone and having to deal with puberty, raging hormones and getting stroppy with each other. It lacks the raw bite of the original as everything is too nicey nicey when it comes to the arguments and strops but for a new generation who would find the original dated it would work.
Eventually we do get something new when a ship arrives on the island and we get Richard and Lilli having to deal with civilization and the possibility of whether to return to San Francisco or not. It isn't bad as we have a nasty sailor who stares at the semi naked Lilli whilst the Captain's daughter takes a shine to Richard but again it is all very nice and not very real. Basically "Return to the Blue Lagoon" has an air of sweet romance about it and it makes it very soft and frankly false.
Aside from that there isn't much to say, yes a young Milla Jovovich is very beautiful and eye catching whilst Brian Krause is handsome but these are not great characters or performances. In fact the only other thing worth mentioning is the poor way in which the monthly visit from the Cannibals on the North side of the island is handled because it is simply terrible.
What this all boils down to is that I can understand why "Return to the Blue Lagoon" was made because it not only allowed the story to be embellished but also updating it for a new generation. But the end result whilst not terrible is weak and ultimately feels like a forgettable remake of the original with just a couple of new ideas.