Wild Things (1998) / Thriller-Mystery
MPAA Rated: R for strong sexuality, nudity, language, and some violence
Running Time: 108 min. (unrated version runs 115 min.)
Cast: Matt Dillon, Kevin Bacon, Neve Campbell, Denise Richards, Theresa Russell, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Robert Wagner, Bill Murray
Director: John McNaughton
Screenplay: Stephen Peters
Review published September 20, 1998
A high school guidance counselor (Dillon, In & Out) is accused of rape by a student (Richards, The World is Not Enough) who is the daughter of a wealthy and powerful widow (Russell, Spider-Man 3). After it is found that the charges against him were trumped up, he sues and settles for $8 million. But there's more to this charge than meets the eye, as more facts are uncovered and plot twists abound.
The "Melrose Place" crowd are gonna love this one. The film is trashy and well-aware of it, reveling in the fact that it is a crock of baloney, and playing everything to absurd proportions. Unfortunately the film doesn't quite work; the plot twists and turns like a top, and in the end it twists and turns too much, eventually spinning out of control, losing whatever foothold it had on credibility.
Matt Dillon, although not bad in the film, is not charismatic enough to believe to be a Casanova who can wow the pants off any girl he meets. I'm not sure why everyone in high school seems to look 25 years old, either. Alas, Neve Campbell (Scream, Scream 2) plays one of the most annoying characters in recent film history. I should also dock another half star from the film due to Kevin Bacon's (Apollo 13, A Few Good Men) schlong rearing its ugly head (so to speak) late in the film.
However, I must admit that I didn't dislike this film -- it is immensely watchable and will hold your interest throughout, despite there not being a character in the film that is realistic, and being especially ignorant when it comes to laws and court proceedings. All in all, it must be said it is a fun film -- but an incredibly unbelievable and stupid kind of fun film.
©1998 Vince Leo