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Welcome Home Reviews

WELCOME HOME begins as Air Force pilot Jake Robbins (Kris Kristofferson), declared a Vietnam War casualty in 1970, resurfaces in 1987. When his Cambodian wife brings the sick Jake to Thailand for hospitalization, she and their two children are taken to a border refugee camp. Jake winds up back Stateside, causing a crisis for the wife he left behind, Sarah (JoBeth Williams)--who has made a new life with a second husband (Sam Waterston)--and for Jake and Sarah's son (Thomas Wilson Brown), who thinks Jake is a deserter. While trying to make peace with his past and with his son, Jake wages a running battle with military bureaucracy as he tries to reunite with his Cambodian family. Well-directed by Franklin Schaffner and augmented by fine lead performances, WELCOME HOME admirably refrains from sweeping statements in favor of an intimate, human exploration of how ordinary people cope with an extraordinary situation. But while the American family drama ends with a satisfying note of reconciliation, the resolution of Jake's fight with the military is pat and contrived, as is the easy disposal of the complications raised by his Cambodian family.