April 18, 1998 -- "Wild Things" is a sordid tale of sex, murder and betrayal set in Florida where morality isn't the only thing decaying in the swamp. There are murder victims out there that have never been found.
Despite the sleazy nature of this film, with its gratuitous low, lusty camera angles, it is entertaining. I think it manages to get away with a lot because of the way it satirizes the film noir genre with a hip, campy flair.
Along with an outrageous plot, over-the-top acting, pot boiler sex scenes and thin dialogue there are some very funny gags. Bill Murray fits right in as a sleazy lawyer, Tom Baxter. His gallery of client photos in his office, all with neck braces, is one of the film's many sight gags.
Another scene that captures the spirit of the film has a police detective, Ray Duquette (Kevin Bacon) approaching a suspect in a scam, Kelly Van Ryan (the curvaceous Denise Richards from "Starship Troopers"). She has just gotten out of a swimming pool. After he stares at her in her swimsuit she asks him if he is interested in learning the breaststroke.
Bacon, along with Matt Dillon, Neve Campbell, Robert Wagner and Carrie Snodgress are all part of a very large cast involved in this complex stab-'em-in-the-back plot. In a way, the film reminded me of "Jackie Brown," but it isn't quite that good. The two films are similar in that they are both about complex capers and double-crossing partners for money. Bacon, Campbell, Murray and Dillon are all fun to watch in this film.
For me, this betrayal stuff began to wear thin by the end of the film. Once the story developed that pattern it became painfully obvious what was going to happen, but there was one surprise at the end. If you see this movie, don't leave when the credits start. There are more clues at the end, during the credits, and those scenes are very cleverly put together. This film rates a B.
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