Thursday, 14 May 2009

No. 127 : Wild Things




Here’s a saucy number that you’ve probably seen but I feel these things are best examined closely. For the subtle nuances in the detective case you understand, not the lithe young bodies sweatily gyrating around. Hardly noticed that at all.

The film is set at a Florida school and sees Matt Dillon’s PE teacher rather unwisely allow Denise Richards to wash his jeep. We don’t see what goes on but she cries rape and the case is investigated by Kevin Bacon’s cynical detective. The case looks shaky until skuzzy local Neve Campbell says he raped her too and even used the same dirty talk - how lazy is that?!

As Richards’ family are local royalty the case is high profile but it all goes awry when under cross examination from Bill Murray’s sleazy lawyer, Campbell breaks down and admits it was all a set up. Clearly wronged Dillon gets a massive pay off from Richards’ family but far from being over the shocks and bodies come thick and fast as layer upon layer of conspiracy is revealed and pretty soon we’ve no idea who’s doing what to whom and for what.

This plot summary is only a brief recap as any more would spoil a few surprises, most of which I’d forgotten since my last viewing which must have been a decade ago. In truth some of the twists are ridiculous and the planning and timing necessary to pull off some of the schemes would have NASA’s computer buzzing for weeks. The scheme isn’t really the thing of course and when you have various combinations of sexy young people getting it on it seems churlish even to mention it.

The film maintains a fast pace and despite a few incredulous moments I was happy to stay the course through wrong foot after misdirection. The excellent cast keep a straight face throughout and I imagine Dillon asked how much he’d have to pay to secure the role. I liked Theresa Russell as the slutty Mom and she was ably assisted with Robert ’Number Two’ Wagner as her attorney. I also liked Denise Richards who can deliver a ’Fuck Off’ like no one else and Campbell was fine despite being a bit shyer than the others.

The film also has a nice touch during the credits where we get a few unseen scenes from the film which demonstrate how things actually went down behind closed doors.

Given the fate of most of the cast it is a surprise that this film spawned two sequels which no doubt maintained the successful recipe of sex and violence. As a detective tale it’s a bit daft but as a sexy thriller with a few laughs it can’t be knockers. Er, knocked.

Best Bit : Hotel Reunion
‘W’ Rating : 16/23

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