Saturday, 28 June 2014

Wild Things 2 (2004)

This film begins with a sequence of events that clearly and studiously echo the original film's opening.  We are presumably supposed to find this clever, but I am not convinced.

In any case, the film introduces us to Brittany, the step-daughter of a wealthy businessman.  She's queen of the school, wealthy and beautiful and the star of the beach volleyball team.

Is Brittany's athletic career important to the plot, or just an excuse to show lots of fit young women jumping around in bikini tops?  These are the kind of questions Wild Things 2 poses.  In other words, questions with very obvious answers.

All is not well in Brittany's world, however, as her mother is dead: either a drunken suicide or a drunken accident after ploughing her car into a swamp.  The exact details aren't really known, since no body was ever recovered.  Alligators in those swamps, after all.

Rather less popular at school is Maya, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks (as Brittany herself was before her mother married her step-father).  Maya seems determined to tear Brittany down, presumably because she resents the fact that Brittany has a nice car and a beautiful home, while she still lives in a trailer.

When a plane crash takes out Brittany's father, Maya seemingly has her opportunity to get revenge.  Brittany is shut out of the will in favour of a blood heir, and Maya claims to be to be step-daddy's illegitimate child.  The two young women engage in hurling insults at each other in court, but a DNA test bears out Maya's claim.

But of course this is a Wild Things movie, so it should come as no surprise that Maya and Brittany are secretly a lot more friendly than they pretend, and there's a whole lot more going on than meets the eye.  There'll be plot twists a-plenty in the second half of the film.

Of course, there's a big risk in putting lots of plot twists into your film, and that's losing track of whether the actual events, when finally revealed, make sense.  The original Wild Things was hugely contrived and quite far-fetched, but the basic plan didn't defy logic.  The same is not true of this film.  The last ten minutes make absolute nonsense of everything that has gone before, though Isaiah Washington's performance in his segment of them is almost enough to distract you from that.


This is a pale imitation of the original.  Even the "sexy" scenes feel like a wishy-washy, unfocused retread of the first.  You can safely skip it.

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