I watched The River Wild mainly for two reasons. The first one was incredibly talented young actor named Joseph Mazello, while the second was Kevin Bacon, also very good and underrated actor in my opinion. I expected just an average thriller or something like that but this movie managed to surpass my expectations. Though it wasn't a great or Oscar-worthy movie I found The River Wild mostly good and entertained, worth seeing movie. The story is concentrated on average dysfunctional family with workaholic father, who have almost lost a contact with his wife and two kids. They undertake a raft journey on vacation to celebrate their eldest son, Rourke birthday and in the same time trying to save their dying marriage. This at first calm and beautiful journey gets unexpectedly dangerous when the family meet on their way two strangers (played by Kevin Bacon and John C.Reilly), who also for their own reasons go to a journey with the same route. The story is not flawless and has some plot holes but overall it's not bad written. Well, maybe it's quite predictable but I don't think that such predictability harmed the movie too much. The acting overall was pretty good. To my surprise somehow happened that Meryl Streep became a weakest part in this excellent cast ensemble. I think she was a bit unconvincing as careful mother as well as a strong rafter. Another problem is that her character (Gail) is not developed as much as the movie needs it. For unknown reasons she got even a Golden Globe nomination for this movie but anyway The River Wild definitely is not among her best works. David Straithairn is much better playing Gail's husband and Roarke's father. Kevin Bacon is brilliant as evil, psychotic villain, while John C.Reilly gave decent performance of his diffident, weak-willed sidekick. And finally Joseph Mazello, the most talented actor among entire casts in the movie. His part didn't give him many opportunities to show his talent but in those short moments his acting was beautiful and he was able to overshadow others. Despite all these very good performances the most exceptional thing about The River Wild is not the good acting but a beautiful scenery and excellent cinematography that have captured it. Even only this terrific scenery, filmed somewhere in Oregon, is enough to make this movie worth seeing. It's simply beyond my words. Finally, it is worth to mention nice score, written by Jerry Goldmith, with excellent main theme.
In the conclusion The River Wild is not great but quite a good movie, with good casts, acting and one of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen. My grade 7,5 or B.