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WILD THINGS 2

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: Susan Ward, Leila Arcieri, Isaiah Washington
Director: Jack Perez
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Surround, Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio: Columbia Tri Star
Features: See Review
Length: 95 Minutes
Release Date: April 20, 2004

“Nothing is ever as simple as it appears.”

Film 1/2*

In responding to the quote above, I am convinced that process of making a movie as lousy as Wild Things 2 was anything but extraordinarily complicated.

Sequels remain a risk in the movie business, no matter if it’s the case of a popular flick that may or may not deserve one. I should've been so wise in making my decision to endure the case of Wild Things 2, which happens to consist of two important bad signs. Actually, three of them.

A: The original Wild Things was a memorable and sexy piece of cinematic noir. It stood on its one, and was never quite worthy of any sort of sequel or continuation.

B: The sequel happens to debut on the home video market, which in this case, is a clear cut case of adding insult to injury.

C: The plot is so very much the same as that of the first movie. SURVEY SAYS--VERY BIG MISTAKE.

For what it's worth, and all the detail I can possibly spare, which isn't much, the story goes a little something like this. High school hottie Brittney (Susan Ward) is one of the richest and most privileged teens living in the glades. Having lost her mother some time ago, she is suddenly hit with the devastating news that her rich stepfather has just been killed in a plane crash.

In addition, while expecting a huge inheritance, Brittney is stunned to learn that a long time school adversary, Maya (Leila Arcieri), is set to receive every penny in her direction. The reason, you ask? Just as Brittany is about to expect the pay, Maya steps forward and reveals that she is the sole daughter of the deceased rich man, which of course infuriates Brittany. What follows is a series of twists and turns, none of which are the least bit surprising, especially to any of those who have seen the first, and much better, original movie.

I'm sure everyone went into this thing with the best of intentions. At the same time, I'm sure that the sole purpose of this dead in the water excuse for a sequel was to sell some skin. The end result leaves a whole lot to be desired. There is only one sex scene in the whole movie, and it can't even begin to compare with the level heat generated by anything in the original Wild Things. If you're going to present a steamy picture, you shouldn't hold back on anything, which is what this movie does constantly.

Uninspired doesn't even begin to describe the atrociousness of Wild Things 2. The only thing that keeps it from being a zero star worthy disaster is the presence of Susan Ward, who is capable of being seductive and spicy, but just needs a whole better film to deliver it. She is quite a sight for the eyes, though.

As for Isaiah Washington, he simply has nowhere to go with the limited range of his character. Washington, a seasoned vet who's appeared in many of Spike Lee's films, has seen better days and I assume he will want to keep this one off his resume for good. Any actor with a good track record as his would do much better by doing so.

There's only one thing to learn from watching Wild Things 2, which is the plain and simply truth that the first movie was a very good movie and it doesn't deserve to be linked to this completely unnecessary sequel. Borrowing just about everything from the plot of its predecessor, and replacing the rest of the movie with just plain boredom, I can't find any other explanation for the existence of this movie other than for you, dear reader, to avoid it.

Video ***

Quite honestly, not as bad as the movie that it's presenting. The anamorphic picture consists of mostly sharp imaging and good enough rendering for its sunny beach setting. Colors appear as natural and nice as can be. Aside from a few soft bits here and there, the overall quality is much pleasant.

Audio **1/2

The 5.1 mix does as much as it can possibly do. There really isn't much heightened, or surprising, hints of suspense as in the first movie, thus the level of sound for this one is brought down a notch or two. In other words, the sound mix isn't really given much to accomplish. Dialogue, however, is delivered quite good and clean, and various bits of music playback does get a good boost every so often.

Features *1/2

The disc includes a short featurette titled "Making the Glades", as well as a trailer and bonus trailers for Wild Things, Cruel Intentions, and In the Cut.

Summary:

I learned a valuable lesson from Wild Things 2, which is do not ever attempt to view a direct to video sequel to a movie which didn't merit a sequel in the first place. In other words, stick with a repeated viewing of the original Wild Things, and you'll be much better off.