Another bring-the-Vietnam-War-home movie. This one is so bad that it makes the faults of In Country seem like artistic flourishes. Kris Kristofferson is Lieutenant Jake Robbins, shot down over Cambodia in 1970 and presumed dead. His wife, Sarah (JoBeth Williams), certainly presumed so. She stayed in Vermont near Jake’s widowed father, Harry (Brian Keith), but remarried, this time to Woody (Sam Waterston), a businessman who is raising Sarah and Jake’s son, Tyler (Thomas Wilson Brown), now a teenager, as his own. Then, boom, a feverish Jake is discovered in the jungle in 1987. To Uncle Sam, represented by Colonel Barnes (the late Trey Wilson), Jake is an embarrassment sure to stir up an outcry about other soldiers thought to be missing in action. Jake’s family doesn’t find him any easier to take; it seems Jake took a Cambodian wife in the jungle and had two kids.
Kristofferson shouts a lot and cries a lot. He’s a man of feelings. There are enough tearful reunion scenes to stock a season of soap operas. Such blubbering hardly befits Kristofferson or Oscar-winning director Franklin J. Schaffner (Patton), who died shortly after the film was completed. Welcome Home cheapens an important subject. It’s a lazy con job that fails as memorial and moviemaking.