Customer Reviews: White Water Summer
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on May 15, 2003
a great film with laughs, drama, gorgeous scenery and a brilliant soundtrack. White Water Summer is a story of conflict; man against nature and man against man. It is about a city boy, Alan (played by Sean Astin) and four other boys going into the wilderness with their guide Vic (Kevin Bacon). Right from the beginning Alan is suspicious of Vic and so Vic begins to target him, leaving him to cross a dodgy bridge over a 180ft gorge and leaving him hanging off the edge of a cliff.
Bacon makes a fantastic baddie and Astin is, as usual, brillant as a cute geeky Alan who has to grow up fast and protect himself from their psycho tour guide....
this film did not exactly get rave reviews from critics but the key is not to take it too seriously. White Water Summer is fun and great entertainment and I'd recommend it for a good watch anytime!
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on November 20, 2001
OK--so it's not a great film theatrically--who cares? This is one of the few films out there that fulfills that need to see the great outdoors. Sadly, Hollywood is pathetic when it comes to making movies about outdoor adventure and the common "Joe" (except for "The Edge", "The River Wild" and "Cliffhanger" to name a few). The classic 80's soundtrack featuring The Cult, Bruce Hornsby, and others make it even better... This movie is a part of my childhood memory, and for a long time was impossible to get, because it was out of print on VHS. I was so excited to learn it was being released on DVD with new packaging. I will definitely be buying it.
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on February 1, 2001
This video is definitely a child of the 1980s. The clothing, the lingo, even the actors (Sean Astin to name one) are products of that unforgetable decade. The movie involves a summer wilderness adventure of several boys, and their counselor (Kevin Bacon) basically goes psycho on them. The movie is full of emotion as well as breath-taking scenery (the majority of the movie takes place in the forest, surrounded by pine trees and lakes). The plot is a great in-depth study into the human subconscious as well as the bravery and trials of adolescence. The movie will be a gem for anyone who has ever been a teenager and who has ever been camping in the rugged wilderness! Definitely worth a watch!
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on June 29, 2004
If you liked Goonies, and are yearning for more 80's style adventure, you'll probably like this film. I like Sean Astin, and in general, I'm a fan of 80's style adventure movies. They weren't serious, pretentious things, like "Bourne Identity" or "Patriot Games". This movie isn't sensationalistic. If you love the outdoors, and liked camping and having adventures when you were a kid, this movie may remind you of your youth. The scenery is great and the music fits well and is actually mixed well as far as levels. Overall it's got pretty good production values. I probably wouldn't turn the lights down, crank up the THX and watch this film. It's more the type of film you watch over and over while doing something else, or while falling asleep. Which isn't to say it's boring, it's more like a comfortable old T-shirt you can wear again and again. It makes me want to go camping, swing from ropes, and play with pocket knives.
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on July 30, 2014
(Kevin Bacon) (Foot Loose) stars as Vic, & is good looking. I wish I had hair like him. Kevin Bacon knows how to smile! Nothing wrong with his role! Everyone who sees this movie is convinced this individual has got negative behavior! To me its nothing major! To some of you out there he may look suspicious, Okay. I can already picture Kevin Bacon being this way in real life, but really just funning around & then laughing a minute later. That's how I picture Kevin! He is extraordinary! I kind of like it when he gets mad! Not just in this movie. But in any movie. Whether he's the good guy or the bad guy, It don't matter to me! I liked how he handled Allen, That's sort of funny.
Vic takes what he does seriously! & when it comes to using ropes & stuff & setting the pivots when they're hiking on high ground, He's got professional equipment. Others may quiver over his authority, Vic will get your attention! Kevin Bacon is Outstanding! He's okay in this film. & he did okay managing the kids. Some things in life you have to put aside.
He was right, right about a lot of things. He just had a little bit of trouble being patient. & things kind of got out of hand when everyone started taking sides with Allen. Vics approach at the end of the movie was wrong, right before he got injured.
He should have had one heart to heart talk with them. Chasing Allen like he was doing was not the answer! But Im glad Allen considered going.
As we know Allen at an older age sort of comes in & out of the movie proving that Vic had some weirdness about him. & has his opinions as far as what's considered most normal & what isn't. He said as he narrated the movie that he was more of a city person, not much on the wilderness & the great outdoors. If that is Sean Astin he'd have to of been 15 or 16 there, & 12 to 13 on his trip with Vic & the other boys.
Me I like the outdoors. I'd prefer to go whitewater rafting any day.
None of that, which Allen said to Vic when they were canoing down the river was true. Afterwards Allen says to Vic You were trying to scare me! I don't believe him. He was trying to teach him how to have a good time. Kevin Bacon is really something in the movie!! I like him in Tremors as well. Vic relied on Allen for doing some things on his own.
& what he said was true. One day Im not gonna be around to help him, Then what is he going to do? That's something my Dad has taught me as well. Can't always ask for help.
Its okay for anyone to be a little hesitant. Allen wouldn't have fallen from where he was. His harness appeared to be secure. When they were propelling. Allen needed to be just a little more confident in himself. Some people have this problem, when you kind of doubt yourself. I do! It comes & goes!
Things like this not only not only help us find confidence in ourselves, We do get our courage this way sometimes. We also have pride. It took a lot of guts what Allen did!!
Kevin may have been off guard in his authority once in a while. Deep down Vic was testing all 4 boys in his own way. The stuff he told Allen about the radio is understandable. I know what folks are thinking, This isn't Kevin Bacon from Foot Loose. He loved the radio in that movie. When he left Allen over at the island to clean some fish, he shouldn't have left Allen out in the rain, should have gone & checked on him or whatever, & he didn't. I can imagine how allen must have felt. But he needed to signal Vic. Not Wait. Should have waved his arms or something. & for the record I think Vic had a point, Allen shouldn't have done that, build a shoot & a trap to catch the fish. Its not fair to the fish. He should have caught them with a fishing pole like the other boys! Also Allen needed to understand that it just wasn't a time to express his talent while he was away with Vic & the other boys. I think that's the main thing Vic was trying to tell Allen!
But a lot of the show has some stuff in it, that if I did any of it had to go on a project or something to learn stuff chances are I might be proud someone like Vic showed me, or I might be happy with myself later on! So I don't criticize Vic Too much!! The only mistake Vic might have made was not explaining to Allen or even to the other Kids was about rules & stuff before they left home! When you go on a project or something similar to this most of the time they'll do that for you. You cannot expect to know Vics Likes & Dislikes what to bring what not to bring what to do what not to do. Vic did okay. But whoever he works for whoever he does it for if anyone, there are times when you should accellerate the situation & times not to. Some of it the kids need to figure out for themselves. Don't let Kevin Bacon alarm you too much by how he was in this movie! You see there's no other way to teach them & no other way they would have learned. I would have forgiven him. I might frown on him for a little while, But I wouldn't hold against him forever. I guess Vic knew Allen was going to be a challenge for him & Vic was going to be a challenge for Allen. Vic might have been a little rough around the edges & stuff, Thats true. When you think about what he did real hard, it did serve a purpose! There are things folks forget about out there in the wilderness all the time. & its important to remember some things. It might just save your life some day. You never know! Out there & I guess depending on what your doing & stuff, You can't afford to hesitate! & I think that's what upset Vic so much, Allen was not Total Confident. He got nervous & everything. If I was Vic I would have gotten mad at Allen too! Its hard being patient with those type of people sometimes.
The kids though didn't have to take it that far & injure him.
Chris throwing rocks at him & Vic falling off the small cliff, would have probably put Chris in jail in real life. Depending on whether or not Vic would let it slide that easily. You could tell Chris had a hard time controlling his temper once in a while.
Vic was a little off on his guidance as far as handling the kids, nothing really all that major to me. There are people in this world that can be more difficult then Vic! You'll find that there are folks that wouldn't put up with Allen not even for a split second! I am surprised that there is only one counselor per group. Vic really needed a partner to help control the kids in case things ever got out of hand. & if he ever stepped out of line. It helps to have a partner. What happened with Vic & why he was the way that he was I think, was because of stress buildup. Anyone can get off guard! Other reviewers may say what they think of Vic, call him a psychotic or whatever. But me I have the highest amount of respect for Kevin Bacon!!
But precisely why did Allen consider going in the first place? He said at the beginning of the movie he's not much on the wilderness. They were a challenge for each other both Allen & Vic. Sometimes Allen tried too hard to please Vic. That's why he messed up. That explained his hesitation here & there, in case any of you want to know! What Allen did was a laugh! Catching all the fish using his talented trick like he did, & actually more of a Geek or a wimp! Allen needed to rely on his effort! Yes Allen made his peace with Vic. & he learned the ultimate lesson!

Truth is Kevin is old school, think of it like this, Him pretending to be back in the early 1900's before the automobile was made, when we rode horses & stuff. In those days life was tough. Vic had to use those kind of tactics or that influence on the kids. & its normal in some ways. He was just sensitive! In those days you would have found a lot more people like him! He had to get the message across somehow, Allen only learned by helping Vic out in the end, that maybe Vic's way of schooling him weren't so improper after all. & Vic cannot expect the kids to understand his ways. There's rules about how to treat nature when your in the wilderness! I'm not surprised that Allen was puzzled by Vic's ways.
Vic would have also had some explaining to do to Allen's parents. What do you think? You think they'd let Vic off the hook easily?
It wasn't ever known to us whether or not Vic was like this with another group of boys.
I'm sure he wouldn't have any trouble getting the words out right. I found out when I got this DVD that there was no behind the scenes look at (White water summer) There should have been though.
I'd just love to hear Kevin Bacon explain his role to us. Talk a little bit more about the movie. Hear from the directors & producers, Even Sean Astin himself. That's what's needed! Vic's rules, 1. No carving your initials in the trees, 2. No radio! 3. No lying, 4. catch fish the right way, & of course for Allen do things without Vic's help. Vic's got a surprise around every corner with his unusual behavior! When your on a program such as this, just remember that not everything is explained. A lot of it is for us to figure out.
Good movie. I like Kevin Bacon no matter how mean or aggressive he is!!!!! He is absolutely impressive! Me I'd look at him carefully in any movie. Whether or not his script is for a good character or a bad character I just don't find him too suspicious.
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on February 12, 2016
A classic 80's film that pits a smart ass city boy (played by Sean Astin) up against a hardcore survivalist (Kevin Bacon) who tries to teach the boy life lessons in the wildness of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The cinematography of the natural landscape is really breathtaking. You'll rarely find such natural scenes in the CGI overdosed movies of today. This is a great film for young guys to watch and it just might inspire you to go outside and experience nature yourself!
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on August 2, 2001
Sorry ya'll but in my opinion I think this movie is awesome and I think Kevin Bacon looks great as a creepy guy. His character looked creepy in Sleepers. He does a fantastic job playing it! I think he's a good actor but the rest of the guys didn't do a great job but it's still a good 80's flick. If you hadn't seen this movie yet go rent it or buy it. You will enjoy it. It does come on HBO or TNT a lot so you can try to catch it on those channels. Like I said this movie is awesome and it does deserve a 5 star rating!
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VINE VOICEon July 29, 2006
"White Water Summer" cannot be accused of being a great film. It's got its silly moments, unbelievable moments, and downright psychotic moments. My wife first introduced me to this film a few years ago and ever since that time, I've never been able to pass it up when it's on the satellite. It's just fun to watch and reminds me of a cool time in my life (that being the 80's).

It stars a young Kevin Bacon and an even younger Sean Astin. Both are excellent in their roles. Bacon must have been studying up for his future psychotic role in "The River Wild" with this film. He plays Vic, a not-all-there, hopefully well-meaning but very unlikeable camp guide who takes Astin and three other city kids into the wild in order to teach them about themselves. The supporting cast is headed up by Matt Adler ("Teen Wolf," among other 80's classics), K.C. Martel (best known as one of Kirk Cameron's buds on "Growing Pains," and Jonathan Ward ("Steel Magnolias" and "Charles In Charge"). Although all three of these guys are recognizable, they've almost always played supporting characters.

The story, as stated previously, is about Vic taking four city boys on an adventure in the wilderness. Astin narrates this tale about becoming a man over the summer. Bacon's character is hard to place. At first, he comes across as a "tough love" advocate, but then he becomes a wee bit crazy. Almost immediately the other boys separate themselves from Astin, with Ward sometimes sticking up for him. In the end, however, all of them have to come together in order to save Bacon's life.

The film has a great 80's soundtrack featuring Journey, Cutting Crew, and other rockers from the decade of excess.

Overall, not the greatest film around, but it does fit the bill as a nostalgic tale sure to bring back wonderful memories. Parents should be warned that there is a lot of bad language in this flick. Astin even drops an "F" bomb, so be sure to monitor any kids with you. I'm sure this film would have gotten a PG-13 rating had it come out just a few years later.

Recommended to fans of old 80's flicks who still remember watching some of these films when they were young.
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on May 10, 2015
One of my favorite 80's nature film gems ever. One of those feel good films you can just put on and watch with ease. If you like this film you may also want to check out, The Karate Kid, Adventures in Babysitting, Quicksilver, The Great Outdoors, and Poison Ivy.
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on August 21, 2013
White Water Summer is an adventure movie.. Lots of good scenery.. Vic (Kevin Bacon) plays a counselor who takes 4 boys on a wilderness trip into the Sierra mountains... Right from the beginning Astin becomes suspicious of Vic trying to hurt him.. It seems Vic is a little harder on him than with the other boys.. But look who comes to Vic's rescue later in the movie.. Great movie if you like adventures..
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