Movie Magazine International

Wild Things

USA - 1998

Movie Review By Blue Velvet

Rebellious, enterprising and completely indifferent to the notion of subtlety, the film "Wild Things" embodies the very traits of a thriller which director, John McNaughton, finds so irresistible. Gorgeous young characters, tabooish sex, gobs of money, and a rage driven by class struggle, McNaughton presses on the pulse of adolescent logic and his direction keeps the film interesting. Yet outside of its hypnotic materialistic and sensual charms, "Wild Things" trips over a tangled bundle of far-fetched crime theories which would nauseate serious noir-loving audiences. Which isn't to say that the film suffers from its unorthodox slightness but rather that it loses appeal outside its niche of young viewers.

>From the exclusive beach community called Blue Bay to the neighboring alligator infested swamp towns, the film starts off in a Florida high school where class precedence is set by chest size, beauty, and location of residence. Sex drips off the pores of everything that moves. Matt Dillon struts as the school's studly teacher of the year, Sam Lombardo, and despite his middle class life, he's the prime catch among wealthy gorgeous Blue Bay women not to mention girls. But he trips into trouble with those very women and he even drops to the mercy of a scowling student from the wrong side of the swamps played by Neve Campbell. Moreover a detective played by Kevin Bacon also stands to make Sam's life a legal hell.

The film presents mysteries that compound themselves into sub-mysteries to trick and deceive audiences with the resolution embedded within the closing credits. McNaughton knowingly lets the plot overshadow the characters. Showing the least amount of skin, Bill Murray actually offers the most entertainment in his role as a cheeseball lawyer while the film's other characters just flash snippets of sex appeal and frustration. The slippery plot squirms out of boundaries of believability, so the film's stronghold dissolves rather than gains momentum by the end. Yet, with that frantic pace and those sexier-than-sin characters, audiences hungry for a sizzling crime spin will adore the dizziness of "Wild Things."

© 1998 - Blue Velvet - Air Date: 03/25/98

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