'Wild Things' cheesy, laughable Movie reviews

March 20, 1998|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

It may be early yet, but here's betting there won't be a more hilarious film all year than "Wild Things."

Problem is, it's not meant to be funny.

Fortunately, that small matter does not detract from the hilarity of such scenes as Kevin Bacon's face when he spies two teen-age girls lip-locked in the family pool, or Neve Campbell trying to convincingly talk like ignorant gutter trash, or stone-faced Robert Wagner as a macho lawyer who comes off as threatening as a dime-store Indian, or Theresa Russell sloughing through yet another role that's way beneath her.

The film stars Matt Dillon as Sam Lombardo, the best darn high school teacher in Blue Bay, Fla., not to mention the hunkiest. Word has it he's made it with half the women in town.

So, when two students show up at his house, ostensibly to wash his car, but really to show off their too-tight pants and wet T-shirts, you have an idea where this film is going.

(In a better world, it would be going straight to video, but that's another issue.)

Faster than you can say "Amy Fisher," Ray's charged with raping one of the girls, haughty, blue-blooded Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards). This infuriates her mom, the extremely rich Sandra Van Ryan (Russell), perhaps because she's angry her daughter was violated, but more likely because she's got the hots for ol' Ray herself.

But wait, there's more. Seems Kelly's not the only girl with whom Ray may have done the dirty.

From the wrong side of the tracks comes Suzie Toller (Campbell) -- you can tell she's from the wrong side because she wears garish makeup, has stringy hair, sports tattoos and talks dirty -- to say she, too, has been victimized.

So Ray hires himself a lawyer (Bill Murray, easily the best part of this film), and the trial begins. When it ends, you're supposed to think the film may be over, but two things suggest otherwise: less than an hour has elapsed, and top-billed Bacon, as a dedicated if overzealous cop, has hardly been onscreen at all.

What follows are plot twists piled atop plot twists, for no better reason than to see how many times the audience can be thrown off guard.

The answer is plenty, but my best guess is you'll stop caring before long.

'Wild Things'

Starring Kevin Bacon, Matt Dillon and Neve Campbell

Directed by John McNaughton

Released by Columbia

TC Rated R (sex, language, violence, nudity)

Sun Score: *

Pub Date: 3/20/98

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