Wild Things falls into the “stupid but fun” group. The plot is laughable, the dialogue is hilarious, and all the major performers think they’re in different types of pictures. Even the director looks like he’s unable to figure out what kind of movie this is supposed to be.
In the hardly sleepy town of Blue Bay resides a high school where all the students look like magazine models. In Blue Bay, people sleep with just about everyone else; “promiscuity” is as common a word as “eating.” People in this town look good and dress to promote themselves. So, what’s the problem in this town?
A student, Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards), claims her counselor, Sam Lombardo (Matt Dillon), raped her. But did he? There is a doubt to Van Ryan’s claims until another student, Suzie Toller (Neve Campbell), comes forward and says that Sam Lombardo too raped her. Investigating this rape case are two Blue Bay cops, Ray Duquette (Kevin Bacon) and Gloria Perez (Daphne Rubin-Vega).
To tell any more of the story would spoil the movie. Wild Things tries hard to entertain the audience. At most points the twists and turns in the script work-but barely. Wild Things is by far an example of how to make a movie so bad that it actually looks good.
The twists and turns in Wild Things are mostly predictable but it is the execution that makes them so enjoyable. As I was watching the film, I was trying to guess when and what would come up next. And like James Berardinelli, a prominent Internet film critic, I missed only one of the twists. However, as I said, it’s the execution that makes the twist so fun. The script by Kem Numm and Stephen Peters has dialogue that goes so deeply overboard it is laughable.
The lead performers, Matt Dillon, Neve Campbell, and Denise Richards all play their parts tongue in cheek. Dillon is likeable as the beat up school counselor Lombardo. Campbell seems to be relishing her part as the tramp in the trailer park. And Richards is given a handful more lines than she had in Starship Troopers, but she is not given much more to work with.
In the supporting roles look for two outstanding performances; Bill Murray as a Lombardo’s sleazy lawyer and new comer Daphne Rubin-Vega as Kevin Bacon’s partner. Wild Things is full of unintentional laughs but Murray brings some much-needed intentional comedy to Wild Things. Rubin-Vega is a newcomer but gives a wonderful performance.
For bad performers look for Robert Wagner as Kelly Van Ryan’s lawyer and Theresa Russell as Kelly Van Ryan’s slutty mom. Wagner seems to believe that he is in a serious movie and sticks out like a sore thumb. My favourite Wagner moment is when Wagner meets Dillon’s Lombardo and says, “You’re finished in Blue Bay. Get lost!” I laughed and cringed at this line. Theresa Russell seems to be parodying herself in this film.
Wild Things is a largely commercially aimed film. How do I know that? It is gratuitous. But, you might ask, in what? The answer: it has everything that will bring near or post-pubescent boys to the theatres: sex and violence. And for those of you curious, Denise Richards and Theresa Russell get topless scenes and Kevin Bacon gets a full frontal nude scene.
Should you see Wild Things? Yes. I’d recommend Wild Things during a matinee showing. This film is an unintentional comedy with a twist of mystery and twist of thriller. Sure, the film is trash, but it’s fun trash. Don’t pick up and leave once you see the credits! There are some fun credit cookies that will throw in more twists. Don’t Miss Wild Things in the theatres.
Edited by Cher Johnson.
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