HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  River Wild, The Ride The Rapids
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, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
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 1364 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 star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: