HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Last Warrior, The
Artemis 81
Rampage
Quiet Place, A
Braven
Changeover, The
Isle of Dogs
Funny Cow
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Mad to Be Normal
Beast of Burden
Dead Men Walk
Game Night
Under the Tree
L'Amant Double
Gonin
Coco
Producers, The
Molly's Game
Forest of the Lost Souls, The
Hatchet III
Birdman of Alcatraz
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Wonderstruck
If It Ain't Stiff, It Ain't Worth a Fuck
Nun, The
Red Sparrow
My Friend Dahmer
Journeyman
Heat, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
   
 
  River Wild, The Ride The RapidsBuy this film here.
Year: 1994
Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, David Strathairn, John C. Reilly, Joseph Mazzello, Benjamin Bratt, William Lucking, Elizabeth Hoffman, Victor Galloway, Stephanie Sawyer, Diane Delano, Glenn Morshower
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Gail Hartman (Meryl Streep) used to be a ranger in Idaho, around the Salmon River area, where she enjoyed white water rafting given half the chance. Those days are behind her, but she does like to go back there as her parents live in the area, and she has been planning a holiday for her kids and husband, Tom (David Strathairn), though he is proving reluctant to join them, much to her frustration, for he is swamped with work as an architect. Therefore it seems as if it will just be the three of them on this trip, though once they reach their destination her eldest, son Roarke (Joseph Mazzello), strikes up a friendship with a fellow camper, the apparently decent Wade (Kevin Bacon)...

It will come as no surprise to you to learn that Wade is far from decent, and his nice guy act is precisely that, an act, though as far as we can perceive he believes he is acting reasonably and cannot understand why others don't agree, such is the mind of the psychopath. Or the movie psychopath, at least, though Bacon brought some credibility to his role that could have tipped over into the ripest of hams, perhaps thanks to script doctor Carrie Fisher giving him the best lines. But as this was not the only villain the star would play, it was something else that brought some degree of interest to The River Wild, and that was connected to the casting as well: Meryl Streep, action woman!

Yes, that celebrated thespian and patron of the arts did indeed star in an action movie, largely thanks to her being a proper movie star and in the nineteen-nineties, a lot of the supposedly too good for the crowpleasers-type ac-tors were turning up in all sorts of unlikely places. Fair enough, most of them would essay the part of bad guys in thrillers, and most of them were men anyway, but Meryl was not quite part of that club, maybe because she was better known for her films than her stage work, so felt to audiences as if she belonged to them at their local picture emporium rather than justifying some extortionate ticket prices to see her offer up her Shakespeare or Pinter in the West End.

This was also part of Streep's attempt to expand her cinematic range, therefore she performed in more comedies, got to sing, took on "is that...?" kind of work, and generally tried to prove herself Jill of all trades. In truth, it's not too difficult to understand why the action thing never played out for her, The River Wild did fair business but did not exactly set the box office alight, and as it was in this genre yet did not feature one single explosion - and only had one gun between the characters - it was not the more conventional action flick that a Bruce Willis would have been appearing in. Here it was the water that was the chief special effect, those rapids intended to set the pulse pounding as it was well publicised that Streep more or less did all her own stunts, method-style, or perhaps Jackie Chan-style.

That is probably the only time you will see Meryl Streep compared to Jackie Chan, though they both exhibited the same powerhouse work ethic albeit displayed in different roles. She was so dominant here that Strathairn, no slouch in the acting department himself, was thrown well into her shadow, Gail's superheroine approach to both motherhood and her path through life rendering Tom so meek that no matter how they tried to beef up his part in the story, he came across like a third wheel. The real substance was the antagonism between Gail, trying to cling to civilisation as if this were an uncredited remake of Deliverance, and Wade, who cares little for the niceties of polite society and will ride roughshod over anyone who gets in his way, with a side order of beating up and bullying anyone he feels is weaker than he is, just for kicks (lots of slapping here). John C. Reilly had an early stepping stone appearance as Wade's dim henchman, and it was all very obvious (will they run... The Gauntlet?! Yes.), but it's not often you got to see a multiple Oscar-winner literally flex her muscles. Though Bacon did distractingly resemble sixties Brit rocker Joe Brown. Music by Jerry Goldsmith.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 247 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Robert Segedy
Darren Jones
  Asma Amal
  Chris Lawrence
Enoch Sneed
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: