Gail, an expert at white water rafting, takes her family on a trip down a river on which she used to be a guide. Along the way, the family encounters two men who are unexperienced rafters that need to find their friends down river. Later, the family finds out that the pair of men are armed robbers. The men then physically force the family to take them down the river to meet their accomplices. The rafting trip for the family is definitely ruined, but most importantly, their lives are at stake. Written by
Streep rides the rapids and has Bacon for breakfast
Meryl Streep plays a part out of her normal range in Curtis Hanson's 1994 actioner, as an expert whitewater rafter, who has to save herself and her son - eventually with the aid of hubby - from a couple of desperados, who insist on being taken through some awesome rapids. I don't know how much was Streep, how much stunt-double, and how much effects, but her character emerges as a convincing woman of action who is also an anxious mother.
Kevin Bacon is very effective as a regular guy, who just happens to be a psychotic criminal in his off moments; John C Reilly plays his weak, shifty sidekick; and Joseph Mazzello is the son, who initially finds Bacon more fun than his dad. It is David Strathairn, though, who for me takes the male acting honours, as a distant, serious-minded husband and father, who gets going when the going gets tough - though luckily, through thick and thin, he never loses his glasses!
There is more than a touch of Deliverance, and the ending is pre-ordained; but the film is entertaining and gripping throughout, and is aided by some breathtaking Rockies scenery, beautifully shot. (There's a faithful dog too!)
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