Richard (DiCaprio) finds a treasure map in which 'X' marks the location of the backpacker's Holy Grail: a virgin beach deep in the Gulf of Thailand. In persuading the stunning Françoise (Ledoyen) and her beau Etienne (Canet) to accompany him on the dangerous journey, Richard also commits the cardinal sin of passing on the map to a couple of jocks. What they find on the island is a commune living at one with nature, albeit under the disturbingly stern stewardship of Sal (Swinton). This Heart of Darkness-lite has a techno pulse, lustrous cinematography and stars you could eat. It's only on arrival that problems emerge: there's no flesh on the bones of this island community. Worse, Richard's descent into madness feels distinctly half-baked. Yet the movie works, just about: screenwriter John Hodge has spiked up the romance of Alex Garland's novel and put a sober spin on the finale.
Cast and crew
Lars Arentz Hansen