Director Jim West gives a clever twist to the "play within a play" concept by using it to continue his inside look at the adult film industry – a look that began in The Next Valentino. In the first scene Beau Beaumont shows his vacation videos shot in Hawaii to a friend (Kennedy) who in turns submits them to an X-rated producer (Brawn). Lo and behold, a month later they have been transmogrified into a feature film starring Tony Davis. And with the check he receives for his efforts, Beaumont books a trip to the islands for another vacation and another set of videos. The irony (a top-not filmmaker satirizing his low-end "competition") is nothing short of brilliant.
The six sexual episodes are consistently hot, and three (the opening scene with Beaumont and Kennedy, Brawn's solo and the segment entitled "Sunset") are as beautifully photographed as any sexual footage on tape. The editing enhances the crisp pace of West's direction, and everyone in the cast is at his best, with newcomer Steve Kennedy proving quite a find.
There's only one fly in the ointment: the shirting center of consciousness, which begins with Beaumot, switches to Davis, then returns to Beaumont for the final scene. Though necessary for setting off the film within the film, this technique also fragments the viewer's focus. And that's why I've always mistrusted the "play within a play" since Shakespeare first used it. Nonetheless, this is a fine feature, and I look forward to the next entry in the Paradise series – coming soon?