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Wild Things (1998)

November 9, 2009

7/10 Mean Girls

Cat fights, murder, threesomes, and Bill Murray. Sounds like a winner to me.

Wild Things is about a studly High School guidance counselor in an upscale area of Florida that gets accused of raping one of his students who also happens to be the daughter of the wealthiest woman in town…who he’s also slept with. While trying to defend his innocence, he gets accused of raping another one of his students. As you might expect, his life gets turned upside-down, but nothing is as it seems when your dealing with…WILD THINGS!

Alright, so it might not be the best movie title (I can’t get that damn Tone Loc song out of my head now) and the only reason anyone’s probably seen this movie is because of the infamous threesome scene I alluded to, but believe it or not, all those other scenes you fast-forwarded through were actually worth watching. Who knew?

It had been a while since I’d seen this and it had been a while since I’d watched a whodunit of sorts, but thanks to a suggestion by my good buddy Fred, I’m glad I gave it another shot.

So, the script here has its pros and cons. For one, it’s pretty sharp and is filled with solid twists and turns right up to the very end. Being that I could never write a script like this, it gets many a point in that regard. The characters are also pretty good, the only problem is that their dialogue isn’t all that great. With the exception of Bill Murray, everyone seems like they’re just kinda going through the motions with their lines, and for the most part that’s the writer’s fault. You’d think a hot and heavy movie like this that’s backed up by a pretty well-known cast and set to a score by George Clinton (one of the coolest men alive) would have some pretty smooth dialogue to go along with it, but alas, beggars can’t be choosers.

And I’ll just get it out of the way before every paragraph starts to inevitably lead back to this statement like it always does – Bill Murray‘s got the best role in the movie is Matt Dillon’s ambulance chasing attorney, party because he’s got the best dialogue, partly because there’s no one better to get as your comic relief, and partly because…well, he’s Bill Murray. One of those characters that you wish was in the movie more because everyone else is just so damn serious. Lighten up, guys.

Naturally, everyone else isn’t as memorable as good ol’ B.M., but they’re still pretty good. Except for Matt Dillon. He’s not very good here. He really hams it up as the guidance counselor, but I think some of that has to with the fact that he’ll always be Healy to me.

I can’t think of anything else Denise Richards has done with her career outside of her role here as the Matt Dillon’s student/rape accuser, her Bond girl stint as Christmas Jones (really?) in The World is Not Enough, and a god-awful reality TV show on E!, but something tells me she’s gonna have a pretty hard time making people forget about this one. Call it a hunch. Doesn’t have a whole lot to do with her acting abilities, but that’s just what happens when you show your boobs to the everyone on Earth.

Trust me, I know.

Kevin Bacon is also good as the cop investigating Matt Dillon’s case. Typical Kevin Bacon performance. Gets the job done and gets it done well, but that’s to be expected when you have the ultimate last name.

And Neve Campbell is pretty good as the second girl that accuses Matt Dillon of having his way with her, even though she’ll always be Sidney Prescott ’til the day she dies. A lot of good development going on with her character, probably should throw some credit to the screenwriter on this one, too.

Okay, enough about the acting, I’m rambling. The point is that I was surprised that this movie was actually good and it’s too bad that it’s only remembered for “that scene” – despite how nuts that scene may be. It gets a little slow at times, but all the plot twists and saucy liaisons kept me entertained from beginning to end. 

Just one more great reason not to screw your students. Believe you me, teachers, it ain’t worth it.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Branden permalink
    November 10, 2009 3:09 pm

    I haven’t seen this movie is a LONG time. I remember that I loved the twists and Kevin Bacon’s bacon. The threesome scene tried to push the envelope, but doesn’t.

    I don’t remember Bill Murray being in the movie. I need to re-watch it.

  2. mcarteratthemovies permalink
    November 10, 2009 5:23 pm

    It took me three pauses, Branden, to see Kevin Bacon’s bacon, and let’s just say I was … nonplussed.

    “Wild Things” struck me as good, dirty, trashy fun with a nice FU-you-very-much ending. Though I’d have gone with someone — anyone, really — besides Denise Richards. Why she has a career baffles me.

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