Perhaps lowlifes such as the quartet depicted in Larry Clark's Another Day in Paradise roam the countryside, slaying security guards and innocent bystanders at every turn in their wild ride through America's back roads, but the average law-abiding moviegoer may be at a loss to find anything compelling about their stories as presented here. Bad people who are bad for no apparent reason are not interesting; the evil that they do is infuriating, not entertaining, and their devotion to drugs is pathetic, not enlightening. Anyone who gets vicarious thrills from watching junkie Vincent Kartheiser stab to death a guard who is just doing his job in the opening moments would most likely be experienced by somebody no one would want to sit next to in a darkened theater. A victim of the Reservoir Dogs success syndrome, Another Day in Paradise finds director Clark in fine cinéma vérité form, albeit with a bigger budget and better actors than in his debut, Kids. But the realism here is suffocating instead of poignant; a little humanity would have gone a long way. At this late point in the trend -- coming on the blood-soggy heels of Trainspotting, Killing Zoe, and others -- Paradise was lost from the beginning.
by Buzz McClain review