The River Wild (1994)

“I’m not on anybody’s side, I’m on everybody’s side, I’m the mother.” – Gail

Number of Times Seen – 1 (10 Jun 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A family’s rafting vacation is interrupted when two bank robbers force them to take them through the dangerous river terrain in their attempt to evade the authorities.

My Take on it – This is a film that I heard about when it came out but for some reason never really got around to seeing it at the time or ever since for that matter.

This is the perfect vehicle for Meryl Streep in the strong female lead and she does a great job here.

Unfortunately, the film also fits in too well with the common theme of some thrillers from the 90’s where they have a really powerful female lead who has been well developed, but her husband is completely inept at trying to save her or her family.

David Strathairn feels too perfect in the inept husband role but he and Streep have absolutely no chemistry together.

Kevin Bacon is fun to watch as the criminal who kidnaps the family but he doesn’t feel as menacing as one would hope for.

Some of the camera shots are superbly done and we get some great footage of the landscapes they travel through especially the white water rapid scenes.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that works for what it is and that’s about it.  Streep does a great job in the lead and this film fits in quite well with the 90’s sub-genre of strong female leads living with weak husbands who aren’t capable of saving the day.  Bacon is also great as the leader of the criminals. The cinematography is breathtaking at certain points especially during the rapid scenes.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – An exhausted Meryl Streep balked when Director Curtis Hanson asked her to shoot one more scene before filming finished for the end of the day, however, she decided to attempt it. Swept off the raft, she was in real danger of drowning, before she was rescued. Returning upriver, she told a pale and shaking Hanson that “in the future, when I say I can’t do something, I think we should believe me.” Hanson hastily agreed. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)


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3 thoughts on “The River Wild (1994)

  1. I was just complaining on Twitter how David Strathairn is so underrated and then this review pops up on my blogroll! I haven’t seen this since I was a kid, but I watched it quite a bit. I loved Joseph Mazzello back then.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1994 |

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