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Wild Things

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Wild Things

Starring: Kevin Bacon, Neve Campbell
Director: John McNaughton
Rated: R
RunTime: 108 Minutes
Release Date: March 1998
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Noir, Suspense

*Also starring: Matt Dillon, Denise Richards, Theresa Russell, Bill Murray, Carrie Snodgress, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Robert Wagner, Jeff Perry

Review by David Wilcock
2 stars out of 4

Wild Things is so outrageously bad, it actually turns out to be a wildly enjoyable movie. Matt Dillon plays Sam Lombardo, a hunky teacher who Kelly Van Ryan (Richards) is desperately in love with. She flirts with him like crazy, and manages to get inside his house (with a soaking, see through T-shirt, obviously.) However, the s*** hit's the fan for Sam when Kelly runs out of the house claiming that Sam raped her. And when a second student, Suzie Toller (Campbell) also claims that Sam raped her, Sam hires lawyer Ken Bowden (A totally out of place and completely hillarous Bill Murray) to defend him. Hot on Sam's tail all this time is police officer Ray Dequette (Kevin Bacon, who is also executive producer) who suspects that not all is what it seems. And when the court case finishes nearly halfway through the film, the audience starts to begin something fishy is happening as well. And they have every right to expect something strange, because the film really starts piling on the twists halfway through.

Wild Things is poorly acted, badly written, clumsily directed and great fun. Matt Dillon looks confused throughout the whole movie. Denise Richards (Starship Troopers, 1997) cannot act at all. If she was suddenly replaced with a urangutang halfway through the movie, no-one would notice (until the nude scenes, of course.) Kevin Bacon has set the switch on the back of his neck to 'autopilot' and dosen't even attempt any acting throughout the whole movie. Bill Murray was probably wondering what the hell he was doing in the movie. His 'wise guy' image is completely out of place, yet somehow his performance just clicks in. Neve Campbell, in a much better role than the one she had in Scream 2 (1997) has great fun throughout the whole movie. Oh, if you're just going to see Wild Things to have a look at Campbell nude, forget it. Thanks to her 'no nudity' clause in her contract, all you can see is her bare back. Murray and Campbell are the best things in the film because they now this film is absolute crap. Unfortunately, Dillon, Bacon and Richards take on their roles far too seriously. But instead of being boring, all three are so bad, they're fun. Theresea Randell also provides some unexpected hilarity as Kelly's sex crazed mother.

The director, John McNaughton, has no idea what to do with the film. So he does nothing with it. He just points the camera at the actors. There are some nice shots of the Everglade swamps, and the sex scenes are well done (even if you see none of Campbells 'jucier' parts.) The writer, Stephen Peters, seemed to have become so obssessed with twists that he forgot to write good dialogue. The twists are fun, though, and some of them are pretty good. By the end, though, the amount of twists is so overwhelming you'll just be shouting at the film to just 'stop pulling all these goddamn twists!' (well, maybe you won't, but I certainly did.) But despite Wild Things being the absolutely pits in terms of acting, writing and directing, there's something memerizing and throughly enjoyable about Wild Things. It's so bad, it's actually good. Far more enjoyable then the recently released Deep Impact and Scream 2, Wild Things is actually well worth watching. In the end, Wild Things is nothing but pure, commercial entertainment, and if you're looking for a brainless good time, Wild Things fit's the bill.

Copyright 1998 David Wilcock

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