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Review: Dull ‘Pali Road’ captures Hawaii’s beauty but not much else

Mini Pali Road Reveiw
Michelle Chen in “Pali Road.”
(Arclight Films)

In the stately, stiff which-world-is-real drama “Pali Road,” set in a Hawaii we know is actual and beautiful from director Jonathan Lim’s many picturesque establishing shots, a woman suffers from consciousness problems tied to two men who love her.

When young doctor Lily (Michelle Chen) and her handsome, kind teacher boyfriend, Neil (Jackson Rathbone), get into a car accident after he proposes and she resists, she wakes up to find herself married to his rival, Mitch (Sung Kang), with whom she apparently has a child. The slimmest knowledge of alternate-reality yarns, especially linked to affairs of the heart, keeps any real mystery out of the screenplay by Doc Pedrolie and Victoria Arch.

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Even when you hope and pray for a flash of crazy, overplotted melodrama to kick in as Lily frantically tries to find evidence of her existence with Neil and becomes increasingly threatened with institutionalization by Henry Ian Cusick’s creepy therapist, “Pali Road” disappoints with ghost-romance squishiness and deadly dull pacing. The less said about the underwater acting rhythms, the better.

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As a travelogue for the green-and-blue lushness of the Aloha State, “Pali Road” has its postcard appeal, but for fans of love stories that split the mind and agitate the heart, this one is postcard-thin as well.

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“Pali Road”

Not rated

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Running time: 1 hour, 34 minutes

Playing: AMC Burbank 8, AMC Atlantic Times Square 14, AMC Fullerton 20


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