So once again we have survived.

Vern Has Seen WILD THINGS 2!! No… Seriously…

Hi, everyone. “Moriarty” here with some Rumblings From The Lab…

This got lost in the e-mail last week, which sucks. An unpublished Vern review is like an unrecorded McCartney/Lennon song. Even if it’s for WILD THINGS 2.

Howdy boys

Not sure if you got this review that I sent you boys last week. Maybe you didn’t feel it was up to my meticulous standards. But I feel the people have a right to know. A right to know that there is a WILD THINGS 2.

So yep, I saw WILD THINGS 2. Unneccessary direct to video sequel to underrecognized 1998 John McNaughton masterpiece. And believe it or not I’ve been waiting for this one anxiously. Not expecting it would be anything other than garbage, but just hoping on the off chance that maybe it would be fun. Yeah, I’ll give you two guesses which one it was. The first one. The one about the garbage, and the not being anything other than, or whatever it was I just said.

Wild Things 2There are a couple of ways you could do a sequel to WILD THINGS. All of them would be bad.

  1. The continuing adventures of Neve Campbell’s character, now rich and living on a tropical island somewhere under a new, blonder identity. She likes to sail boats and shit. Neve probaly wouldn’t do it (especially if it’s straight to video) so they’d have to throw some ballet into the plot somewheres to try to convince her. If she didn’t bite, they’d get some girl from Roswell, maybe. And she’d have to be teamed up with Bill Murray’s sleazy lawyer character, but Bill probaly wouldn’t do it (because he’s coming off one of the best movies of his career, and he might be about to finally get an Oscar, and he might be a liability anyway because he’s the star of fucking GARFIELD). So I’m guessing they’d cast Jim Belushi.
  2. A sort of straight to video spin-off franchise centered completely around the Bill Murray character. Maybe it takes place before WILD THINGS, and it shows all the fucked up cases he gets involved in over there in the swamplands. Belushi is not available but they managed to get Patrick Warburton. Fred Willard cameos. Coolio maybe works at the law office. If not, Ice-T is the villain. Mario Van Peebles plays the district attorney.
  3. A new tale of crime in the Everglades, involving knowingly over-the-top sleaze, cold-hearted young girls, unexpected plot twists. Not connected to any of the characters from the original, but connected in setting and spirit.

Well, when I heard they were making WILD THINGS 2 (working title: THE GLADES) I assumed they were going for #3. A new tale of crime in the etc. etc. (you can read it again, I’m not gonna retype the whole fucking thing). But instead they invented approach #4: a new set of characters in the same place re-enacts the same story with minor variations and a different ending.

The opening scene seems promising. A young Denise Richards-type rides out into the swamp in one of those hovercraft deals, and drops flowers into the water in memory of her dearly departed mother. After a moment of contemplation, a bunch of crocodiles come up and eat the flowers.

Already it’s different, because you’ve got this dead mother involved. and yes, technically, the plot is different. Instead of an alleged rape, it has to do with an inheritance – the stepfather of the Rich Girl Denise Richards Type dies, and a Swamp Girl Neve Campbell Type comes out of the woodwork to reveal that she’s step dad’s secret love child, and therefore the legitimate heir to the fortune. So yes, it’s a somewhat different story, but it’s told in the same fucking way.

They redo the assembly at Blue Bay High School. Linden Ashby from MORTAL KOMBATT sits in for Kevin Bacon. The kids make the same type of smartass comments to interupt the presentation. The Neve character is given a more exaggerated tough bitch swamp girl introduction (she later does a gratuitous motorcycle wheelie, which I appreciated).

They redo the shocking show trial, complete with “You skanky bitch!” type outburst. Minus Bill Murray.

And I don’t think anybody will be surprised to hear that they redo the famous threesome scene, pretty much the same right down to the bottle of wine (this time said to be a $2,000 bottle from step dad’s collection). The coroner sits in for Matt Dillon. The twist is that this time, it’s the Neve Campbell character whose tits you see, and the Denise Richards character who you see taking her shirt off from the back but do not actually see topless. You see that? TOTALLY DIFFERENT.

Of course the other twist is that NOBODY IS FUCKING SURPRISED. I’m sure the reason so many young newsies love that scene in the original is because it’s a threesome scene with boobies, and they haven’t found out about pornography yet. But the reason why it is a classic scene of modern cinema is because it is such a ridiculous out of the blue plot twist. Up until this point the movie has been pretending to be a sleazy late night Cinemax movie about femme fatales framing their teacher for rape. But now the movie reveals that it’s been fucking with us the whole time, and that’s only the beginning. That’s not gonna happen in WILD THINGS 2 because we already know what’s gonna happen. We’re not retards. We knew from the beginning that these three were gonna be in on something together, and the movie acts like we’re fucking surprised when they reveal what we expected in the same way we expected?

For a minute I started thinking wait a minute, what if THIS is the trick? What if they’re making us feel safe by rehashing WILD THINGS so blatantly, only to suddenly give us a surprise sucker punch to the balls and create something entirely new and shocking?

Nope. I’m sorry to report that I did not receive any surprise sucker punches to the balls, or any other metaphorical type anatomical area. They continue with the rehash. Voyeurism, heated paranoid arguments, lesbian kisses, sleazy motels, close call trying to hide a body, exaggerated class differences between rich beach people and gator bait swamp trash in trailer parks. No penis shots though, sorry. Small planes sit in for sail boats. Isaiah Washington (actually a really good actor, even in this crap) fills in for Kevin Bacon’s female detective partner as the moral center of the movie. Only in the last 15 minutes did things start to happen that I didn’t necessarily expect, but they weren’t outrageous enough to be that surprising, especially since (I don’t know if I mentioned this) I’ve already seen WILD THINGS.

And of course they repeat the gimmick of flashbacks during the end credits that fill in missing information and point to new betrayals. Whooptie doo.

Now, I’m guessing there will be one or maybe even two talkbackers who will disagree with me on this (these same fuckos that hate BLADE II, maybe) but I will argue to the death that WILD THINGS is a classic. McNaughton had been mostly a mixed bag since HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER (NORMAL LIFE was okay) and then out of the blue he comes out with this crazy swamp noir/softcore porn parody. There is nothing else like it. It works on so many levels, it manipulates so cleverly, it twists so preposterously that even after seeing it several times you’re not really sure exactly what the whole scheme was, and you don’t care. Also, kids like it because there are boobs.

One of the things that makes it work so well the first time is that it’s such a surprise. So you can’t just remake it and get the same quality. It doesn’t work that way. And why would you do that for a sequel anyway? Most remakes don’t stay as close to the plot as this supposed sequel does. A good plot twist would’ve been for WILD THINGS 2 to actually be good. But it’s just a waste of time. Too bad they couldn’t figure out some way to do it. Oh well, I guess I’ll pin all my hopes on STARSHIP TROOPERS 2 now. No way that could go wrong, huh?

No, seriously though, guys.

thanks boys,

Vern

award winning Writer on the films of Cinema

Awesome, as always.

“Moriarty” out.

Originally posted at Aint-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/17131

View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback

  • March 8, 2004, 7:13 a.m. CST

    Third!

    by neobido999

    Damn, blew it

  • March 8, 2004, 7:19 a.m. CST

    If you’re first and nobody sees it,does it make a sound?

    by Kungfumanchu

  • March 8, 2004, 7:22 a.m. CST

    for the record

    by fabfunk

    I am the first person to post on any of these talkbacks with anything significant to say. Screw to you. As for this movie, does it not even have Denise Richards’ Mini-Me, Susa Ward? I would actually NEVER see this, but this review made me wanna go watch that slimy original again, which does indeed have a lot of sly surprises.

  • March 8, 2004, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Encore

    by Bulldish

    I saw this movie on one of the Encore’s this weekend. Yes it was campy, but you got to love girl on girl action.

  • March 8, 2004, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Katie Stuart

    by Harrys Man Boobs

    She might the hottest chick ever to guest star on “City Guys”. OK, maybe her and Cerina Vincent.

  • March 8, 2004, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Pretty good review

    by 2muchpoo4U

    It told me everything about the movie that I wanted to know, namely that it blew. And fabfunk, strange to see you not in the CHUD hunting grounds.

  • March 8, 2004, 9:30 a.m. CST

    well

    by casmcthorn

    I think “Wild Things” is a classic, but think “Blade Double Eye” can suck my numb plumb.How do ya like them apples?

  • March 8, 2004, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Wild THings is indeed a classic

    by Blok Narpin

    It was a smart crime thriller that had one plot twist after another. It was a really well done movie. As for Blade II, I’m sorry to say is sucked. At least Blade Trinity looks good!!

  • March 8, 2004, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Hate to break this to you…

    by buckna

    But you had to be a mental midget to not see EVERY plot twist coming in that piece of trash that was the first film. I went to it opening night in a packed house filled with teenagers who obviously don’t watch enough TV or movies. I feel sorry for the 50 or so people around me that I probably ruined the movie for as I was laughing my butt off the whole time and yelling things like “It’s such a setup for the guy to get at the girls trust fund!” and “I bet the cop’s in on it too!” Maybe if you were 16 when this first came out you thought it was cinematic brilliance and I can except that, but this had about as much intellectual stimulus as another “underrecognized film” that came out around the same time, Marky Mark’s The Big Hit….

  • March 8, 2004, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Vern is right as usual

    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    “Wild Things” is a damn classic. I was just arguing the other day about how I felt it was Murray’s greatest triumph, especially his last line, and that “Lost in Translation” was good, but not nearly as good. Shame about the sequel though.

  • March 8, 2004, 3:28 p.m. CST

    I so hope you’re kidding

    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    “I feel sorry for the 50 or so people around me that I probably ruined the movie for as I was laughing my butt off the whole time and yelling things like…” Well, no hard feelings. I probably ruined the movie for you when I broke my forty-ouncer over your damn head for yelling stupid shit in the movie theater.

  • March 8, 2004, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Straight to video

    by Celtican

    http://www.play.com/play247.asp?page=title&r=R2&title=145376&p=57&c=&g=72

  • March 8, 2004, 7 p.m. CST

    Put me on the list of “People who hate Blade II”

    by vikingkitty

    One of the worst sequels ever made.

  • March 8, 2004, 7:45 p.m. CST

    Bacon’s cock

    by Barry Egan

    Is Kevin Bacon’s cock in this one?

  • March 8, 2004, 10:05 p.m. CST

    but what you didn’t tell us is…

    by mansep

    is it as good as The In-Crowd? cmon, what kind of review IS this?

  • March 9, 2004, 1:17 a.m. CST

    What happened to Denise Richards???

    by Renata

    I know she got married and all. That’s not what I’m talking about. But she went from being the hottest thing on the planet in WILD THINGS to looking like an anorexic scarecrow to a bloated housewife in the blink of an eye. This girl is as far from sexy as, well, I am.

  • March 9, 2004, 2:30 a.m. CST

    This review should’ve STAYED lost

    by Vern

    What a pile of trash and filth. Who is this joker anyway. Isn’t this the same clown who loves BLADE II and Clint Eastwood? I have NEVER been so offended in my life. Harry you have gone TOO far on this one. I will NEVER visit ANY of your sponsors EVER again. And I am with that guy who yelled stuff during WILD THINGS. Sure, he seemed like an asshole at the time, and he is obviously making it up since most of the plot twists are intentionally completely random and therefore not predictable unless you are a psychic. BUT, I still agree with him, because I like people who say they are smarter than everyone else, and make you uncomfortable because of how hard they are overcompensating. And that is why Harry will never work in this town again! I will show him that he is wrong and also that I am not wrong!!! p.s. NEVER AGAIN!

  • March 9, 2004, 3:49 a.m. CST

    You hear that, you people who dont like blade 2 are FUCKOS!!!

    by Rcamacho2278

    I couldnt agree more

  • March 9, 2004, 4:32 a.m. CST

    PLANT!!!

    by Frenchi

  • March 9, 2004, 8:41 a.m. CST

    the oracle is strong

    by disappear here

    The Oracle says: Linden Ashby has a Bacon number of 2.

    Linden Ashby was in 8 Seconds (1994) with Carrie Snodgress

    Carrie Snodgress was in Wild Things (1998) with Kevin Bacon

  • March 9, 2004, 8:23 p.m. CST

    The original Wild Things was great.

    by minderbinder

    Hilarious. Don’t know why they bothered with a sequel though.

  • March 10, 2004, 1:59 a.m. CST

    WTF?

    by RaylanGivens

    Holy Shit! Are there really people out there that use the word “classic” and “Wild Things” in the same sentence with zero sense of irony?

  • March 10, 2004, 6:43 p.m. CST

    Put me on the list….

    by satansteve

    …of people who hate people who hate blade 2. It was entertaining, violent as hell and also had that fucker from bros getting his ass kicked by the Snipester. Also, put me on “the list of people who hate charlie sheen for marrying denise richards but still kinda like him for hot shots 1 and 2 because they kick ass, but not that car chase movie where he holds a store up with a candybar and then fucks his victim on the freeway at 60mph whilst being chased by a ton of fat cops who were in seinfeld because the movie sucked ASS”

    Wild things was a suck-fest. Except the part where denise richards gets her baps out but neve campbell doesnt because shes a fucking wuss and probably has really fucking deformed tits where the nipples probably point in. Disagree, neve? Prove me the fuck wrong!

    ps. Who’s willing to bet Triple H demanded MORE screen time for Blade: Trinity and requested that the movies title be changed to Blade: Triple H (wrestling smarks will get that).

  • March 10, 2004, 11:11 p.m. CST

    And another thing…

    by Wild At Heart

    Wild Things sucked. Blade II sucked. Starship Troopers sucked. The Age of Reason sucked. The Magna Carta sucked. The Glory that was Rome sucked. The Bronze Age sucked. The Paleozoic Era sucked. The Big Bang sucked.

  • March 10, 2004, 11:51 p.m. CST

    IT WAS ON CABLE THIS PAST WEEKEND!!

    by Vudoospanker

    And it sucked!

  • March 11, 2004, 3:38 a.m. CST

    Can you believe this shit? Even those two nobodies in PART 2 use

    by jackburton2003

    <eom>

  • March 11, 2004, 6 p.m. CST

    Yes, Wild Things is a classic.

    by Homer Sexual

    No one can really justify their intellect or lack thereof in this type of forum, but I am really highly educated and I loved Wild Things. It is seriously an over-the-top classic. I had previously hated Denise Richards, but I saw a whole new her in this flick. It even features the horribly bad-in-a-kind-of-amusing-way Teresa Russell. I didn’t see the plot twists coming (well, not all of them)and get a real kick out of re-watching it. Blade 2, on the other hand, not so great but alright. WT isn’t a classic in the vein of Schindler’s list or whatever, but it is a classic popcorn movie and I’ll probably be pathetic enought to rent the DVD of part 2, just to see how much it sucks.

  • March 12, 2004, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Schmucks.

    by eight-

    I just love those morons who talk openly during movies. I think the guys who scream at the screen are even bigger idiots. Whose attention are you garnering for when you scream plot lines out at the screen? Do you think you’re smarter than everyone, or did you just not receive enough attention at home? Good lord, even being around people like that in theatres embaresses me, and I’m not the idiot making a clown out of myself.

  • March 14, 2004, 2:51 a.m. CST

    WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

    by KAWS

    I’d like to see Max, making love to two of his wild thing monsters. Directed By Maurice Sendak.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
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