Wild Things (1998) I like it not because it could be considered “racy,” but because Bill Murray and Robert Wagner are outrageous in this film.

29 Aug

The story centers around Blue Bay High School a community filled with the snobby, high-income elite.  During a senior class lecture, all four of the central (but not necessarily the best) characters in the film materialize in one form or another at the lecture.  First we have Sam Lombardo the guidance counselor (Matt Dillon), Ray Duquette the corrupt policeman (Kevin Bacon), Kelly Van Ryan the daughter of the wealthiest real estate mogul in town (Denise Richards), and Suzie Toller the girl from the caravan park across town (Neve Campbell).  All four of these characters have large secrets they’d rather not share.  Their façade begins to peel off when Lombardo, our sensitive and well liked guidance counselor, is accused of raping the rich girl Kelly Van Ryan.  Her story is initially backed up by “trailer trash” Suzie Toller, but then things get a little out of the ordinary.  Enter Bill Murray in one of the (if not best in my opinion) cameos ever who is Ken Bowden, Sam Lombardo’s lawyer.  Murray manages to show the court that things are not as clear cut as they initially appeared.  He gets Suzie Toller (Neve Campbell) to recant her testimony on the stand and admit the rape accusation was a lie.  Why?  Well we have to wait and see to learn the full story.

Along with Murray is another lawyer-cameo played by Robert Wagner, acting as the wealthy Van Ryan’s family attorney.  The Van Ryan’s are humiliated by the scandal, and Lombardo and Bowden negotiate a hefty settlement: 8.5 million dollars.  Lombardo leaves town to retire after this, and encounters Kelly and Suzie at his hotel.  It turns out that the three of them had been working together the entire time, and planned to split the money.

However more unexpected twists are revealed at the end through a series of flashbacks, that Suzie had planned the whole thing in order to get all the money and not just a third (as well as the revenge on Duquette for killing her love years before) she was also a very, very smart woman.  Other characters begin to die off as the movie comes closer and closer to the end.  In the final scene, Bowden (Murray) meets Suzie at a tropical resort, and gives her most of the money—minus his “usual fee”—and tells her to “be good.”
Overall, however, you can’t really go wrong with this film for an evening’s entertainment.  It doesn’t feel the need to talk down at its audience, it doesn’t resort to excess simplicity to make itself understood, and it just tells an unusual story and tells it convincingly well.  I think that Wild Things was an excellent film and was not just some “dark porn,” as many of the media tried to portray it, rather a fantastic and “different” film that was quite entertaining.


Posted by on August 29, 2010 in Movie Reviews


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8 responses to “Wild Things (1998) I like it not because it could be considered “racy,” but because Bill Murray and Robert Wagner are outrageous in this film.

  1. dr H

    August 31, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    OK movie. Should have been in the B movie series we ran. Otherwise not review worthy.
    If we decide to review based upon certain actors we like, then when will we ever get time to review the real stuff.


    • jpfmovies

      August 31, 2010 at 4:50 pm

      I disagree because of the strong cast.


  2. dr H

    August 31, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    A strong cast doesnt mean an A movie. If the cast is sole criteria then Reindeer Games had an A list cast and a famous producer to boot.
    It is a B movie because (a) The story has all the predictable elements (b) There is a palpable lack of depth and (c) The director moved the camera too much always a sign of a B movie where half way through some one has started to take himself way too seriously.


  3. dangerousmeredith

    September 3, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    I haven’t seen this movie so I can’t comment on its merits (although it obviously does have a strong cast) but surely review worthiness and “the real stuff” is in the eye of the beholder? If JP likes the movie why can’t he review it? Or do you 2 guys have a formal agreement to review a certain amount of movies in a certain amount of time (in which case I apologise for butting in).


    • jpfmovies

      September 4, 2010 at 12:35 am

      Dangerous, your instincts are correct, there is no agreement as what movies will be reviewed on the site; Dr. H is just pissed off because he wants to do a “three pete” on another topic/theme. Did you check out the clip of the trial and the settlement? Or the one where he meets Bill Murray for the 1st time! They one are outrageous!


      • dangerousmeredith

        September 4, 2010 at 6:36 pm

        I did check out the clips of the film and they look quite good, especially the court room scene. As far as I can tell from the clips, Murray’s character is indeed on the outrageous side and Murray looks as if he enjoed playing him.


  4. dr h

    September 4, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Dangerous, you are more than welcome to “butt” in.
    Dont take our friendly banter too seriously.
    It might not show but we are actually very good friends.
    The point I was trying to make was that a strong cast should not merit a review.
    This site is for somewhat offbeat fims or some thematic originality and also to discuss certain genre’s.
    Ofcourse JP is within his constitutional rights to post what ever he wants or for that matter so are all of us. But we reserve the right to object to his posts if needed.



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