Three random friends spend a summer in Malaysia drinking rum, smoking weed, and sleeping with beautiful easy women who love them because they are tall Yankees. After the vacation is over Sheriff(Vince Vaughn) and Tony(David Conrad) head back to the states to pursue their dreams while Lewis(Joaquin Pheonix) stays behind to work with apes.
Two years later Anne Heche shows up at the doorsteps of Sheriff and Tony and tells them that their ape friendly friend has been arrested for hash and has been sentenced to death unless the two statesides return to share in the blame. If one comes back they will be sentenced to six years in prison and if two, three years.
This is yet another reminder that Vince was not born in comedy. Lets look back at his career. We got Rudy, JP:2, The Cell, Psycho, Domestic Disturbance, and of course Return to Paradise. There is one scene in this movie where he throws a guy up on a wall pinning him there with a bottle opener to the neck. The intensity and seriousness of this little gesture reminds me of how much more potential he has as an actor. Thanks to the Wilson boys it seems he is slowly slipping into a comedic box.
Anyway...Sheriff(Vince) carries the weight of the world on his shoulders as he must decide what to do. Give up three years of his life and return to save a friend he hasn't seen in two years or just let him hang from the gallows. We aren't talking about Texas State Prison here. We are talking about Malaysian 3rd world country prisons.
The other actors work but it's obvious this is the Vince Vaughn world and everyone else is just living in it. Phoenix pulled off one of the best dragged to the gallows scenes ever recorded. Second place is probably Mike Clark Duncan in The Island(
hated that movie save for a few little scenes).
The great thing about this film is that it accomplishes something that is very special and rare. You as the viewer cannot help but relate. You cannot help but put yourself in the shoes of the characters. Many movies you watch you are simply watching, but very few films cause you to ask yourself...what if this happened to me?