Title: The River Wild
Genre: Adventure, Action
Director: Curtis Hanson
Writers: Denis O’Neill
John C. Reilly
In Meryl Streep’s astonishingly awards-packing filmography, this film has no chance to be singled out (not even among top 20 maybe), it actually botched the chance of Meryl’s Oscar nomination that year (after a surprisingly gratifying Golden Globe nomination), I think it is its skin-deep kernel and the entertainment-first priority sabotaged it, if only speaking of the cast, Meryl’s acting is completely Oscar-worthy.
From A to Z, this intense adventure thriller holds one’s breath tight with its suspenseful aura and splendid river torrent scenes, however the throwaway adrenalin-thrusting doesn’t guarantee the same amount aftertaste, there are a touch indelible plot-holes emerging into my mind, which I assure you it is not a pleasant feeling (still, it’s much better than most annoying pop-corn movies which I cannot even fluently commit myself to the moment).
Meryl proves once again that she is the most versatile actress if not in the world, at least in Hollywood. The sports/action area is a rare attempt, yet she did most of her stunts, which is surely not able to be learnt from acting classes I suppose.
With respect to the fore-mentioned skin-deep kernel, I have a hunch that both feminist and non-feminist would feel offended on account of in one hand the female protagonist’s tough prevalence over her husband would exasperate man’s ego, in the other hand, the inward-for-no-reason husband eventually resurrected his role-model father/husband image would be too obvious to feel empathetic (especially after a ludicrous rescue ploy). Poor David Strathairn, he had tried his best to save this badly-designed character. As for poor Kevin Bacon, he has been vying for an Oscar nomination since then, still in vain. (I would have taken Susan Sarandon’s nomination for THE CLIENT to Meryl and also given one to the viciously-charming Kevin Bacon).