‘Paradise City’ Ending, Explained: Was Ryan Able To Save Robbie?

“Paradise City” is the latest movie directed and co-written by Chuck Russell, who is hailed for successful movies like “Nightmare On Elm Street,” “The Mask,” “Bless The Child,” and many more. The movie stars “Die Hard” alum Bruce Willis as Ian Swan, Blake Jenner as Ian’s son Ryan Swan, and John Travolta as the movie’s antagonist Buckley. The movie follows Ryan Swan, who learns of his father’s death and arrives in Maui to bring Ian’s killers to justice. Ryan is aided by Ian’s ex-partner Robbie, who hasn’t heard from Ian since he slept with his wife on Christmas eve a few years ago. 


Spoilers Ahead

‘Paradise City’ Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?

The movie begins in Hannah Coast, located in Maui, and we see Ian Swan ( Bruce Willis) dragging a man through the beach to kill him. But before he can carry out his deed, the cavalry arrives, and Ia is shot and gravely wounded. The scene shifts, and the movie introduces us to Robbie Cole, who’s a bail bondsman, and Koa, who’s an aspiring UFC fighter with some great skills. Koa had evaded bail on several occasions and is now wanted by authorities, but his luck has finally run out. Later Robbie meets Ryan swan, who happens to be Ian’s son, the man we see at the outset of the movie. Judging from the conversation, it appears that Ian has died, and Ryan seeks Robbie’s help to bring his father’s killers to justice. 


But before Ian died, he left a message for his son, asking him to find his friend Robbie. Ian worked as a bail bondsman, or more accurately, a bounty hunter—the best in the business. Ian was also Robbie’s ex-partner, but Robbie cut ties with him because of the misunderstanding that made Ian divorce his wife. Ryan learned that Ian was tracking a big whale (Terrance Billford) who wanted to kill three cops in Hawaii and lost his life in pursuit of it. The judge set the bail at 10 million, hoping that Billford would never be able to pay such a hefty sum, but Terrance walked out of jail the very same day with his bail money paid fully in cash. Ryan is hell-bent on finding Terrance, who might be responsible for his father’s death, and finishing his father’s final bounty. Robbie agrees to help Ryan in return for a 50/50 split, maybe to redeem himself for what he did wrong. 

The Hunt For The Whale

Robbie and Ryan went to Ian’s apartment to look for clues, but their arrival was tipped off and drew some heavy shooting. Robbie and Rya battle their way out of the gunfight but get separated in the process. Ryan jumps into the pool to save his life but is soon handcuffed by the cops, but Robbie is nowhere to be seen. Ryan is brought to Buckley, who reveals that he knew Ian, who contacted him to track Terrance’s whereabouts. Ryan made his intentions known to Buckley and refused to leave the island until he found his father’s killer.


Buckley is a man of influence and has big plans for Hawaii. The Bald head, the sharp beard, and then the expensive suit gave a very antagonistic vibe, and he might have had a part in Ian’s death. The movie progresses, and we learn more about the character. With his money and influence, Buckley had bribed off clan elders, who were responsible for controlling the island’s resources, so he could out his illegal mining activities. He doesn’t think twice about dumping people who fail to play by his rules into the volcanoes. 

Buckley’s Real Identity

Gerry, Ryan’s associate, took him to the site of his father’s death and uncovered Ian’s cell phone. Meanwhile, Robbie is alive and well (for now!) and is visited by Buckley, the same man who freed Buckley from the cops. Buckley has made his mercenaries do a background check on Robbie and asks him his reasons for leaving behind the force and a pension for bounty hunting. Robbie has been a bounty hunter for a year; he loves the risk, the thrill, the danger, and the reward of it. Buckley’s tranquil expression changes when Robbie reveals that there are rumors of his association with Terrance Billford and that he’s running the election campaign with the laundered drug money. Elsewhere, Ryan and Gerry have decrypted Ian’s phone but are met with a dead end. Ian drowned after being shot and was mauled by killer sharks beyond recognition. So, there’s a chance that the reports Ryan saw were fake and were planted by someone to close the case. But who? Maybe Buckley! And if that’s the case, maybe Ian is alive and has been abducted by Buckley. 


Gerry takes Ryan to an older woman living in paradise city. In reality, paradise city is a safe haven for the island homesteaders who refused to be bribed by Buckley. At the city, Ryan is challenged by a local named Charlie, who asks Ryan to prove he’s Ian’s son through a series of tests. Ryan passes the test and sees Ian alive, standing behind them, but he thinks that he’s hallucinating because of Charlie’s drugs. Ian knew Buckley’s true intentions and planned to strip Hawaii of its resources, so the latter planned to silence him for good. The locals of Paradise City saved Ian and helped him fake his death to help him take down Buckley. In reality, Buckley is none other than Terrance Billford, who has changed his appearance through plastic surgery and is the same guy who was being dragged on the beach by Ian. Buckley is more than just a dirty politician who’s abusing his powers to fill his pockets; he’s also connected with the cartel and a stone-cold killer. Buckley plans to control Maui and turn the place into an international drug port.

‘Paradise City’ Ending Explained – Was Ryan Able To Save Robbie?

Gerry receives a text from her informant Nikki that Bucky is holding Robbie hostage at the Golden Throne, Buckley’s isolated kingdom. Moments after Ian, Gerry, and Ryan leave, the paradise city is overrun and reduced to ashes by Buckley’s men. With his influence, Buckley even labeled the massacre as a gas explosion. The father-and-son duo arrives at the Golden Throne and splits up to free Robbie and bring Buckly to justice. A briefing on television suggests that Buckley’s pawn has won the senatorial election, giving him unchecked power over Maui and its people. Ryan enlisted the help of Koa, who revealed that Buckley was hiding Robbie underground. Ryan finds Ian, and together they rescue Robbie. Robbie apologizes for sleeping with Ian’s wife, and the two friends finally find common ground after years and decide to finish the job. The trio shoots their way to Terrance, who’s escaping with his son. Ryan tries to stop Terrance, but he’s shot and wounded. Ian catches up to Terrance and reveals to his son that he’s the one who murdered his mother. Terrance shoots Ian and rushes towards his boat, but his ride is incapacitated by Ryan, and Buckley is arrested by the authorities when they learn his real identity.


Ian has been tracking Terrance for years, and his search ended when he encountered Buckley, who was ruling Maui with an iron fist. He cares deeply for his loved ones, yet he despises his adversaries with the same intensity. His only wish is to see himself on top of the world, and he will stop at nothing until he’s conquered that spot. But, thanks to Ryan and Ian, Maui has been freed from Buckley, who also donated their share of the bounty to rebuild Paradise City.

“Paradise City” is a 2022 action thriller movie directed and co-written by Chuck Russell.

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Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh considers himself a superhero who is always at work trying to save the world from boredom. In his leisure time, he loves to watch more movies and play video games and tries to write about them to entertain his readers further. Rishabh likes to call himself a dedicated fan of Haruki Murakami, whose books are an escape from his real being.

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