The River Wild
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Hang on tight for a suspense-filled action-thriller starring Oscar-winner Meryl Streep in a stunning performance that will take your breath away! Streep portrays a former river guide who arranges a white-water rafting trip to celebrate her son's birthday and salvage her shaky marriage. Her skills and courage are soon put to the test when three mysterious strangers threaten to turn their vacation into a living hell. Also starring Kevin Bacon and David Strathairn, this "pulse-pounding thrill ride" (Rolling Stone Magazine) explodes with action, suspense and unforgettable storytelling from the director of L.A. Confidential.
Meryl Streep tried her hand at action films with this Curtis Hanson film and proved herself quite credible, bringing emotion as well as the willingness to kick butt. She plays a suburban mom and former white-water rafting guide who is taking her family on a raft trip for summer vacation. But overworked Dad (David Strathairn) can't make the trip, so she and her son leave without him--and walk right into trouble. Killers on the run (Kevin Bacon, John C. Reilly) abduct them and force Streep to take them down the most dangerous stretch of river to elude the cops. Hanson understands how to pace and construct this kind of action fodder, but it's strictly formula stuff, enlivened only by the depth of Streep's portrayal and the viciousness of Bacon's character. --Marshall Fine
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how children worship what is "cool", as Joseph Mazzello's "Roarke" demonstrates early on in his adoration of Kevin Bacon's character,
and at the same time finds his father (David Strathairn) disappointing, since he is a workaholic and often fails to follow through on events
in his kids lives. But as a result of the rafting trip, he learns that sometimes the less exciting one is really the one who ultimately loves
him and risks his own life to save his family, when the chips are down. One reviewer on IMDB liked the film until Mazzello, at the end
of the film says to the ranger when asked about what his father did says resolutely' "He saved our lives!". Said reviewer thought this was
stupid in relation to the events of the film. In my view, this was the most emotional moment of the film, showing the important lesson he
learned about life from this experience. He went from shaming his father to respect, love, and understanding. Great literature as well as
great films show little cues early that may seem irrelevant, only to be explained or revisited late in the story to be extremely revealing.
Some reviewers look for flaws, which like most films, this may well have. But as an entertainment with tension and emotional power,
this movie is totally satisfying.