Monday, 6 October 2008

No.78 : Wild Side

Wild Side at the IMDb

‘Wild Side’ is a sexy thriller that is strangely devoid of sex appeal and indeed thrills. Anne Heche plays an expensive (no such thing as ‘high class’!) hooker who has a night of grinding planned with the dodgily coiffured Christopher Walken. He is a bad guy money launderer and has been targeted by the FBI in the past in honey trap operations. He thinks Anne may be an agent but reasons that if she is really a hooker she’ll shag his body guard for $500. Anne is a hooker but laughs off the low rent deal only to get raped by the body guard, who is in fact an undercover FBI agent. Keeping up?

Anne reports the rapist agent to his bosses but rather than investigate the crime they tell her that  unless she cooperates in nabbing Walken that they’ll tell her banking bosses of her sexy sideline. Anne doesn't like her day job at the bank, as all the clients play grab ass, but she needs the job to keep her house so reluctantly agrees to go along with the dubious plan.

Sexy Joan Chen then shows up at Anne’s bank and the two soon become lovers. We learn Joan is married to Walken and a three way scam starts with the alliances unclear. They plan to infect the banking system with a virus and steal $160 million in the process. Things complicate further when the romantic tangle causes Joan to overdose on pills. With the relationships straining against the stress of the complex cycle of duplicity and muddy plotting we have to guess who’ll end up with who and at what cost.

This was an atrocious movie with some of the worst acting you’ll ever see. Tony the sassy bodyguard come cop is as convincing as Big Bird would have been in the role and he equates shouting with acting in every scene. Walken is usually good value but he wilts under the twin strains of a bad wig and shocking script.

The plot, which seems to be deliberately meandering and vague, is all over the place and if it’s trying to mimic the complexities of the characters’ relationships, it succeeds only in duplicating their annoyingness. There are plenty of sex scenes to keep the casual pervert happy involving all of the cast in various combinations. “Do I look like a lesbian to you?” screams Anne in somewhat feigned outrage.

The dialogue is really bad with lines like “banking is like the Mafia- you’re in it for life” - say what? Walken also threatens to kill someone who is attempting suicide without any apparent irony. “ She leaves an I blow your genitalia off“ from a faux Italian Walken also stood out as did “It ain't Ben Dover, Idaho“.

Anne is pretty enough and has a good body which she’s not shy about showing off, but her sexy scenes left me a bit cold. It may have been the blue lighting or the fact that she was grinding Walken who was wearing a Beatles wig, but erotic it was not. Her thin reedy voice and pain of a character made it hard to empathise with her situation and frankly I was cheering on Walken, wig and kinks included. Chen looked pretty uncomfortable doing the lesbian scenes and he weedy character was the same as she trotted out in ‘Twin Peaks’.

If you watch this with ironic detachment you will find a few laughs with the crappy dialogue and chronic acting. You also get a few bangs for your buck, but overall this film should be an embarrassment to all involved.

Best Bit : Walken confronts guard with Trojan as Anne puts fingers in ears.

‘W’ Score 8/23

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