Friday, 27 June 2014

Wild Things (1998)

I saw Wild Things at the cinema for the very scientific reason that it was on.  I had a card at the time that let me go to the movie theatre for $5 a time, so I was going every Wednesday night.  This particular week, I'd either seen everything else or knew I wasn't interested, whereas all I knew about this film was that Neve Campbell from Scream was in it.

In any case, even if I'd known more about the film, I probably would have still have been surprised by two factors.  First, that it's a pretty good little noir film.  Because make no mistake: despite the sun-drenched Florida setting and the absence of city alley ways, this is absolutely a noir film, with all the twists and turns and the moral corruption that term implies.

The second factor, and the one for which the film is much more notorious, is the sexual content, which was quite a bit more intense than was common for mainstream film releases of the time; especially ones featuring the usually clean cut Matt Dillon.

It's perhaps a shame that Wild Things does contain that sexual contact, as I think people have tended to overlook the decent little noir thriller that's the setting for the naughty bits.  Certainly, I expect the sequels will not measure up in terms of narrative, though they will doubtless deliver more nudity and sexual shenanigans.  On the other hand, the original noir films often rode the edge of what was acceptable content for their time, so maybe the sex scenes in this were a way of updating the genre to the times.

... nah, I don't really buy that either.

Anyway, if you're in the mood for a thriller, and don't mind lashings of nudity and bad language, and a cast of characters where the ambulance chasing attorney is one of the more likeable people you'll meet, then this is a pretty good bet.  I doubt it's going to be celebrated seventy years later, in the way a classic noir film like The Big Sleep is, but very few movies are The Big Sleep.

All up, this is a pretty good film with which to spend a couple of hours.

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