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Wild Things Review

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by AVForums Jul 20, 2007

    Wild Things Review
    "Revenge never tasted so sweet"

    Originally released in 1998, Wild Things caused something of a stir at the time as it promised two of the then hottest Hollywood actresses, Scream's Neve Campbell and Starship Troopers' Denise Richards getting up to all kinds of mischief in a very naughty movie. Even more so now, you would imagine as this edition is the Unrated version. As it turns out, that aspect of the film is somewhat of a disappointment, I have seen the movie previously a few years back and I noticed very little, if anything, different or additional in this version although they claim there are approximately 7 minutes of extra footage compared to the original R1 release. Maybe our UK version wasn't cut as much as the US Region 1 version? Wouldn't that make a nice change!

    But of course that's not the reason why you would want this disc now is it! Wild Things is set in and around the Everglades and Florida's exclusive and wealthy community of Blue Bay where money truly means power. Student Counselor, Sam Lombardo (Matt Dillon) is accused of rape by two students; spoilt little rich girl Kelly Lanier Van Ryan (Richards) and the rebellious 'trailer trash' Suzie Marie Toller (Campbell). Lombardo employs the services of small time, sleazy attorney Kenneth Bowden (Bill Murry) to plead his innocence whilst being pursued by Sgt. Ray Duquette (Kevin Bacon) who seems determined on proving his guilt. Did he or didn't he commit these crimes? Either way, his future as a Student Councelor seems in question.... I feel a court room scene coming on!

    Now although that seems a rather succinct synopsis, I do have to tread very carefully for those who have never seen this film before as it is entirely based on plot twists and believe me, there are plenty of them! Nothing is what it seems and just when you think you have the story sussed, it changes yet again. This could have resulted in a confusing mishmash of a plot but thankfully, there are few enough main characters to make tracking those changes easy enough.

    Wild Things is reasonably entertaining although a little slow in places. Trying to work out the plot before it is revealed is always good fun and this movie takes full advantage of that value. Bill Murry adds some subtle comedic moments to what is otherwise a formulaic thriller with a twist (or two). The tempo of the movie is intentionally leisurely as it tries to typify the laidback lifestyle of this sultry Florida beach town. But as with the movie Body Heat which Wild Things evidently tries to emulate, you'll either find it rather intriguing or painfully boring. Thankfully I found it the former.

    Don't buy this film if you are expecting Basic Instinct style eroticism as you'll be woefully disappointed. But if you enjoy a mystery and plenty of plot twists then this may well float your boat. The acting is nothing to write home about but the direction and the inventive screenplay just about saves it from the mediocrity graveyard. Just make sure you watch the movie right to the end, or you'll miss one final twist!