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yeah , yeah , the advertisements didn't even try to conceal the fact that this movie had only one hook - sex .
neve campbell and starship trooper's denise richards getting it on ?
ok !
yeah , it's a decent two minutes of film erotica , but even if that's your main interest in this film , there's plenty of cheeziness to sit thru in exchange for those two minutes .
wild things does have a lot more to think about than you might expect however .
nearly every single scene is a huge plot twist guaranteed to leave you guessing , or at least curious to see the next turn , throughout the entire movie .
but this fast-paced , razor-sharp turning of events doesn't leave much time to enjoy the surprises .
we start off in a high-class california high school where every student resembles a supermodel in the making .
guidance counselor sam lombardo ( matt dillon ) seems to catch the eye of every student , particularly kelly van ryan ( richards ) , daughter of the locally prestigious family whose social status is about as high as their bank accounts .
right off the bat , kelly is using every asset she has in an effort to seduce " mr . lombardo " .
the fund-raiser car wash seems the opportune time , particularly when you wash your guidance counselor's jeep in all white clothes and take plenty of precautions to insure you'll be soaked from head to toe when you're done .
on the weekend of the car wash , kelly's attempts at seduction fall flat , and when they do , she concocts the tale that sam in fact raped her that day .
naturally sam is thrown into a state of panicked shock at these accusations .
but the otherwise unsubstantial fabrications soon lead to a criminal trial when a low-class , marijuana smoking student by the name of suzie toller ( campbell ) comes forth with a near identical story , also involving her trusted guidance counselor .
pitting himself against the communities most respected names and authoritarians , sam must prove his innocence thru the aid of his makeshift defense attorney , ken bowden , played by bill murray .
yes , that bill murray !
sound like a good , complete movie ?
yes , that alone could have been , but this is just the beginning .
in fact , the trial is over about fifteen or twenty minutes into the film .
it is merely used to launch the most twisted story of recent time .
by the time the movie finishes , you will have gone thru every plot twist imaginable .
unfortunately , with so much going on , you're not given enough time in one predicament to be as effectively shocked when a new twist comes about .
this is just one way director john mcnaughton fails to make this movie as fun as it could've been .
the 113 minutes fly by , and although it never feels underdeveloped , this pretzel of storytelling could've been much more richly realized had a slower pace been taken .
the acting is incredibly reminiscent of fox prime-time soap operas , which no , is not a good thing .
and it's not just campbell , who happens to hail from the prime-time fox soap " party of five " , but everyone suffers from heavily melodramatic overtones .
dillon , who was so charming in his understated role in last year's in & out , gives the best performance , and murray's surprising appearance adds some comedic flare to the film .
in fact , if the whole movie had been promoted as a subtle comedy , even if it was the exact same film , i would actually give it a better grade .
that's how cheezy it comes off .
but aside from these two , the rest offer nothing more than some good eye-full's .
in the right hands , wild things could've been a wickedly delightful , scrumptiously twisted thriller , but instead we get juvenile overuses of profanity and some very laughable displays of acting .
and what's up with these people passing as high school students ?
i realize hollywood often casts older actors to play teenage roles , but when i realized it wasn't supposed to be a college they were at , i had to snicker .
i won't lie - this is definitely a guilty pleasure .
as corny as it is , it's got some interesting aspects and could deserve at least a " b " for effort .
but if you just want to admire denise richards , go for last year's starship troopers , which was every bit as campy , but a million times better .
of course , if seeing her breasts is your most important goal , you'll be right at home with wild things .
perhaps the wildest thing of all is that somebody actually looked at this and thought it deserved to be in theaters .