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7/10
Still Breathtaking after Twenty-Three Years
claudio_carvalho6 September 2017
The teacher Gail Hartman (Meryl Streep) is facing problems with her marriage with her husband, the workaholic architect Tom Hartman (David Strathairn). On the birthday of their son Roarke (Joseph Mazzello), Gail decides to leave her daughter with her parents and take her family to raft down a wild river where she was a guide. On the departure, a young man named Wade (Kevin Bacon) befriends Roarke and leaves the place with his friends Terry (John C. Reilly) and Frank (William Lucking). Later the family encounters Wade and Terry, who do not have rafting experience, and Gail helps them to cross a whitewater. They get closer to the family and soon Gail and Tom learn a dark secret about Wade and Terry. What will they do to get rid of the men?

Twenty-three years after its release date, "The River Wild" is still a breathtaking film. The story is predictable and corny in some moments, but the action scenes are still impressive. The forty-five year-old Meryl Streep is athletic and looks younger and younger. Unfortunately the DVD does not have making of since the scenes of white-river rafting are amazing. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "O Rio Selvagem" ("The Wild River")
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6/10
Clean but entertaining family adventure
Leofwine_draca31 March 2011
For a conventional Hollywood adventure story, THE RIVER WILD isn't bad at all. While it lacks the rawness of similarly-themed independent fare and the kind of twists and surprises you'd expect from the best this genre has to offer, it tells the story it sets out to tell with a large amount of success, mainly thanks to the lean script and no-nonsense pacing. Much of the action comes from a series of spectacular white-water rafting sequences in which the stunt team are really put through their paces. These mark the film's highlight. The human plot, involving a couple of hostage-takers, is less spectacular, but the film still gets by thanks to the calibre of the cast.

Meryl Streep, although a little too earnest in some places for my liking, takes plaudits as the outdoors expert who has to use her wits to survive both nature and the evils of mankind. Kevin Bacon and John C. Reilly are fine as the no-good criminals, and Benjamin Bratt bags a nice little role as a good-guy ranger. Youngster Joe Mazzello is a more mature presence than in the previous year's JURASSIC PARK, and David Straithairn (THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM) gets to have some fun as the straight-laced father forced into becoming a hero. Okay, so you know the outcome from the outset (and in a 12-certificate family adventure nothing THAT bad is ever going to happen), but this is nonetheless a mildly entertaining little movie.
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7/10
Strong Performances Elevate This 90's Thriller...
namashi_122 June 2011
Curtis Hanson's box office hit 'The River Wild' is well-shot and even gripping in parts, but what really stands tall in this thriller and balances the film even when it dips, are the performances by it's talented star-cast.

The story involves a family on a whitewater rafting trip, who encounter two violent criminals in the wilderness.

'The River Wild', which has been written by Denis O'Neill, offers some gripping moments, that truly manage to hold your attention. The characters, are nicely presented and executed. But, I would like to point out, that, the writing in the latter hour tends to drag a bit. The film surely could've been shorter by at least 10-15 minutes. And I believe if it had been trimmed, it's impact would have only enhanced. Curtis Hanson's direction, like always, is efficient. Cinematography is Striking. Editing is fair.

Performance-Wise: Meryl Streep is superb, as expected. She carries the film on her shoulders and delivers with ease in each and every scene. Kevin Bacon makes a really interesting bad guy, and proves his potential as an actor. David Strathaim is first-rate. John C. Reilly is good. Joseph Mazzello supports well.

On the whole, A decent one-time watch, that offers strong performances to sail it safe.
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Streep rides the rapids and has Bacon for breakfast
Geofbob14 August 2001
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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7/10
Well-done and well-acted family thriller
Star_Red16 August 2002
River Wild is not really great or thrilling, but it's very entertaining due to the good acting by the entire cast and the beautiful nature scenery. I thought the relationships between all the characters and how they gradually change was the most believable and interesting part. How Kevin Bacon's character first strikes a bonding with the son, in order to win Meryl Streep's trust, and how this friendly atmosphere slowly glides to threat was very realistic. The only really annoying scene was the last one, where one police officer asks the son "What did your father do?", to which he replies "My father saved our lives". What a heroic, pathetic conversation after having survived such a life-threatening nightmare! All in all, this movie is recommendable, but you shouldn't expect too much.
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Nothing too special but an enjoyable little thriller nonetheless
bob the moo23 August 2004
To celebrate her son Roarke's birthday and help build his relationship with his father (and her), Gail takes the family unit up to where she used to work as a river guide for a bit of white water rafting. Once there they meet another group heading down river and, when Wade and Terry lose their guide, Gail agrees to let them follow them in their own boat. However when Gail and Tom begin to feel uncomfortable with their guests they try to slip away unnoticed – only for Wade to pull a gun and insist that Gail will help them proceed downriver and cross the legendary Gauntlet.

I first watched this when it came out in the cinema and I remember enjoying it. However noticing it back on television recently I couldn't help but be a little uninterested in it and wondered if I had just false memories of how good it really had been and so decided to watch it again and see. After a slow opening the film gets down to business with the two boats getting together and gradually going to the conclusion that we know is coming but enjoy heading towards anyway. The film delivers its straightforward plot well in the early stages, using the father-figure conflict well (even if it ignores the heavy feminist subtext) to generate the tension, while the later stages is more of a simple hostage thriller sort of affair. This aspect is still quite enjoyable even if it is not as tight as it really needed to be and, as a non-rafter, I wasn't sure how intimidated I was meant to be by the load of water that was the gauntlet.

As a result, the film is a little talky but the cast are able to deal with it and it is really only the clunky, slow start that suffers as a result. I'm not a big fan of Meryl Streep and I didn't think she was totally fitted to the material given her but mostly her performance was natural enough to be convincing. Strathairn plays second fiddle to Streep but he is still enjoyable as he delivers an insecure character. With these two big names in the lead it would have been easy for them to dominate but it is Kevin Bacon that steals the film with a charismatic performance that he easily turns into menace – hardly his greatest performance but he makes more of it than others have in the past. Mazzello is a typical 'cute kid' American actor but he is good enough for this material and he is pretty good in the first half when he is given the material. Reilly and Bratt add some well-known faces to the mix but really neither has that much to do.

Overall this is not a great film but it is good enough to be worth seeing once. The action is not typical for this genre and the novelty value of it makes it seem more interesting. The film looks good and it is tense enough to do the job while the plot gets past the slow start to deliver an interesting set up and a solid enough series of set pieces with a good cast and director onboard (sorry!).
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8/10
Streep Braves the Rapids...and Succeeds.
howiewins16 January 2001
Warning: Spoilers
No, I didn't say Gail braves the rapids...but Meryl Streep, not only literally, but metaphorically. Streep is definitely the actress of our time, and in no small part to her ability to tackle difficult roles of many colors, and do them without breaking a sweat. Such is true with "The River Wild", a predictable, but entertaining river rapids adventure/hostage drama. Streep incorporates her role with strength, humor, and even a bit of vulnerability. Backed by the menacing Kevin Bacon and the refined David Strathairn (the ultimate everyman...that's a compliment), Streep holds her own in a genre that one doesn't necessarily think of when her name comes to mind. One tremendous scene involves Streep reminding her captor (Bacon) of the dangers of the upcoming waterfall/rapids system known as "The Gauntlet"...Streep whispers determination and threats, promises of anger and doom, directly into Bacon's ears with a quite rage, only to be turned to an edge-of-tears monologue when her family comes to mind. Bravo to Curtis Hanson's pre-"L.A. Confidential" film (1997's SHOULD HAVE for Director and Picture). The plot itself may have holes, but with the talents of Streep, backed with the reliable cast, "The River Wild" packs quite a punch of entertainment and thrills.
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7/10
For The Most Part A Credible Thriller
Theo Robertson3 December 2005
THE RIVER WILD is not the most original thriller ever made , it's premise is " a clean cut family bump into a couple of desperate criminals in the sticks and their lives are now in serious danger " but it deserves some credit in not trying to paper over its flaws with ridiculous action sequences or other type of melodramatic plot twists . Perhaps the producers of the recent Jodie Foster thriller FLIGHTPLAN should have watched this to see how a family based thriller should be made ?

Some people may be put off by the fact that there's not much in the way of explosions , car chases or a massive body count and that there's a lot of talking but when you've got a thriller where Kevin Bacon is the bad guy ( And no 1990s movie was complete without Bacon as a bad guy ) if you do have a film that is watchable at the very least . And let me just repeat that this is a film where credibility takes precedence over action . There is a slight flaw where towards the end where one of the characters starts making devices out of stuff lying around ala MCGUYVER but for the most part this is an enjoyable thriller
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9/10
I'll never forget Kevin Bacon after seeing this
albundyz25 August 2005
I'm not sure, but I don't think there is a bigger compliment that you can pay any actor but to say that his/her performance was bigger than the movie itself. It seemed to me that Kevin Bacon was not acting. That Kevin Bacon IS as mean and cruel as the character he portrayed. I cannot see Kevin in any movie without thinking of his performance in River Wild because I really think you're seeing the real deal. Because of that, Kevin was one of the most terrifying movie characters that I have ever experienced.

Seriously, in real life, Kevin Bacon may be a nice guy, may be a sweetheart, may do volunteer work, may go to church regularly, may be a good dad, may be a coach for his daughter's soccer team. I really don't know, but I tell you one thing, if I ever meet Kevin Bacon, I will tell him he gave an outstanding performance in this movie. And while I am in his company, I will NEVER turn my back on him. He just spooks me out and will always do so. what greater compliment is there? I thought this movie was extremely well cast. I know the ending is predictable, but the best thing about this movie is that it is believable. Anyone of us could have been stuck in that situation. Ever go up an elevator with a person who you feel uncomfortable with? If the elevator gets stuck... what do you do? This is basically the same as the movie. Most movies either have a totally unbelievable theme or something happens in the movie that is totally illogical. In this movie, however, every thing that happens is believable and could have happened to you.

still Bacon scares the hell out of me
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6/10
Guys too obvious villains
SnoopyStyle22 February 2014
Tom Hartman (David Strathairn) cancels on his son birthday once again. Gail (Meryl Streep) takes the kids on the trip by herself. Gail is sure that their marriage is over. She's a former river guide, and takes her son Roarke rafting down to their family home. They meet Wade (Kevin Bacon), and his friend Terry (John C. Reilly) at the river. Then Tom surprises everyone by coming.

It would be better if the guys weren't such obvious villains. It could be a better surprise. And the reveal could be done earlier. With the obvious twist coming, the tension isn't really there. It just doesn't have enough intrigue. It is always a matter of tones, and how obvious the clues should be. It would be much better to concentrate on the flirting instead. The biggest problem is that it makes Gail look stupid especially with all her giggling. It is however interesting to see Streep take on something physical and really stretch into unknown territory.
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8/10
Decent thriller with several good performances and terrific scenery
Juni78ukr3 May 2005
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.
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7/10
Photography Was Outstanding
whpratt129 January 2006
If you love the wild outdoors, fishing, camping and riding a raft down rapids like Niagara Falls, this is definitely your kind of picture. Meryl Streep,(Gail Hartman), earned her salary in this film, not just acting but having to take part in some of the water scenes. Gail Hartman every year visited her parents home and enjoyed camping and water sports. However, Gail's husband was deeply involved with his work and some what disappointed his family the last minute. Kevin Bacon,(Wade) meets up with Gail and takes a great liking to her, as well as, her son and it looks like things are going to work out for a great vacation. What appears like a great story becomes a horrible situation that you will have to find out.
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6/10
Not the most exciting movie due to its restrained concept and settings but a well made movie nevertheless.
Boba_Fett113825 December 2007
"The River Wild" isn't among the best or most exciting thriller/action movies ever made but it's a very well made one by acclaimed director Curtis Hanson and with a great cast.

A movie set entirely on a river, with as the central piece of the movie a family, complete with kids and a dog. How exciting does that sound? It sound like a 'based on true events' Hallmark type of movie. But don't be fooled. "The River Wild" is a movie that has plenty to offer, despite its very restrained concept and settings of the movie.

The movie is also more original than you perhaps would expect. The movie also does a fair job at keeping things sort of a mystery for a long time. I especially like how 'the bad guys' try to set up the family against each other to create disorder and different camps, of which they can profit from for their own benefit. It's perhaps not as good and prominently executed as it could had but nevertheless the movie gets points for the attempt, that also I must say mostly works out due to Kevin Bacon's fine role.

Watching this movie sort of makes you think what a shame it is that Bacon doesn't really play villainous roles anymore. He only played these sort of roles in the early '90's, though he had an obvious talent for it. Not that he plays crappy roles now but nevertheless it remains a shame he doesn't play more often the bad guy. He is perfectly good in his role in this movie. He knows to portray a likable character that you're also able to hate at times. A real achievement. But also credits have to go to Meryl Streep, who plays a fine strong female lead and other great actors such as David Strathairn, Joseph Mazzello and John C. Reilly.

Despite that it's not the most exciting movie in its genre it still is one that is always fast going and never boring to watch. The movie mostly features nature action, set on the river. So it's a pretty original movie in its genre but I don't know, movies set at mostly the same locations are just never among my favorite or most exciting ones to watch, such as for instance in my personal experience also was the case with movies such as "Speed" and "Phone Booth".

The movie is of course a great looking, thanks to its nature settings. Also the musical score by Jerry Goldsmith is really worth mentioning.

It's just a fine movie, that is perfectly put together and has a great cast but it's just not the finest exciting genre movie thinkable and it perhaps is also a bit too simplistic, also due to its restraints.

6/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/
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7/10
"Deliverance" meets "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle"
lee_eisenberg2 July 2009
Meryl Streep gets a totally different kind of role in "The River Wild". She and her husband (David Strathairn) and son (Joseph Mazzello, of "Jurassic Park") go on a rafting trip and encounter some guys (Kevin Bacon and John C. Reilly) who turn out to be not what they seem.

The obvious similarity is "Deliverance", but I also detected a similarity to "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle", the way that Kevin Bacon's character turns the boy against the mother. I once did a boat trip down the Snake River, and some of the rapids here look like what I remember (although the movie may have exaggerated the rapids).

Overall, it's a pretty fun movie. A real jolt of nature, if I may say so. Also starring Benjamin Bratt. Director Curtis Hanson also directed "L.A. Confidential", "Wonder Boys" and "8 Mile".
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6/10
One Viewing Was Good Enough
ccthemovieman-114 November 2006
This was a pretty interesting suspense movie that was entertaining and fun to watch - ONCE. After that, it got increasingly annoying, thanks to the snotty kid, "Roarke" (Joseph Mazzello). The irritating kid, and a husband (David Strathairn) who unfairly was the object of scorn for much of the film, made me lose the enjoyment of watching this on subsequent viewings.

If you haven't seen it, it's definitely as good adventure story of a woman (Meryl Streep) and her family terrorized by a wacko (Kevin Bacon) out in the wilds. There's some pretty scenery in here, too, especially if you like the rapids and mountains.
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8/10
Great action movie with beautiful scenery
helpless_dancer16 December 1998
The best actress of them all was in this exciting film. Admittedly, the story was an old one with the usual predictable ending, but I love just about anything with Streep in it. She is so believable in her parts. Kevin Bacon acted the part of a psycho very well. The sequences shot at the waterfalls kept the adrenaline flowing in this fast paced thriller.
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8/10
Streep the Action Hero
view_and_review19 August 2020
Meryl Streep wouldn't go on to be an action hero after this movie, but she could have.

Gail (Streep) and family were going to spend her son's birthday in the wild natural area outside of Boston that would include some white water rafting. They would be going without her husband, Tom (David Strathairn), as he had to work. It was made patently obvious that he always had to work and that work had officially taken the place of his family.

While at the river Gail met Wade (Kevin Bacon), a witty nice guy whom Gail and her son, Roarke (Joseph Mazzello), befriended all too quickly. Little did they know that Wade and his partner, Terry (John C. Reilly), were not guys they should've been chummy with. Wade and Terry would show their true colors later when they needed Gail's help navigating the fierce rapids.

"The River Wild" was tense and exciting. It had shades of the movie "Shoot to Kill" with Sidney Poitier and Kirstie Alley in which Kirstie Alley was forced to be a mountain guide to help a thief cross the U.S./Canadian border. Streep and Bacon were phenomenal as to be expected and I'd say they carried the movie. There was action, but nothing of the bang-boom kind with death defying stunts. This was a lot tamer yet just as mesmerizing. This was of the surviving the elements kind of action and doing just enough to stay ahead of the enemy.
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6/10
The Ride of your life
johnnyboyz12 November 2000
The River wild Is an amazing film!! There's action all the way when they finally get into the boat, And from then on, Its breath taking!! A family go on a boating holiday with their dog but it soon turns out to be a nightmare, as they pick up two robbers who killed their guide. The robbers want to go down stream, but that means they have to ride some rapids which no-one have ever survived riding. Its a winner.
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7/10
Curtis Hanson + 90's
yusufpiskin19 July 2020
I hadn't heard of this movie until my parents told me about it, and we ended up watching it tonight. I thought it was pretty entertaining! It definitely "feels" like a 90s movie at times, and it can be a bit cheesy, but it doesn't really need to be anything more or less than that in my opinion.

The performances by Kevin Bacon and Meryl Streep are great. I loved seeing Bacon play a bad guy, I don't know if I ever have until this point. The story is gripping mostly during the latter half of the movie, the intensity is turned up and there's a pretty solid payoff by the end of it. This movie would be too generic if it weren't for the river setting throughout the whole movie - it really added some memorable moments, and I'm sure I won't be forgetting this one.

Overall, this was a fun time! It has everything that I'd normally look for in a suspenseful/thriller, has likable cast members and throws a spin on a conventional drama, turning it into something memorable and worth giving a look.
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family
Kirpianuscus12 August 2021
Rafting, tension, good acting and Meryl Streep. Good points, the locations, the frame ( not the great script but few good traits about marriage crisis ). The surprises - the impecable job of Kevin Bacon and young Joseph Mazello. Not the most convincing end but the desired one. A family story and a good thriller.
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8/10
Meryl Rules
billcr124 August 2012
A different role for Meryl Streep, as a former river guide with domestic problems. Her husband is always at work and their marriage is on the rocks. She decides to take a trip with her young son down the safe part of a river.

At the starting point she meets three men; Kevin Bacon and John C. Reilly are the two main protagonists. They claim to be on a fishing trip and off the merry threesome go on their way. Her husband shows up unexpectedly; played perfectly by David Strathairn. A short time later, the family meet up with Bacon and Reilly, who claim that the third guy had to leave because of an emergency. All is well at first, but the good times turn bad rather quickly, as the two buddies are revealed as criminal types who have committed a robbery and are on the run, and need Streep's expertise to make it through a treacherous pass on the river. The water and its' surroundings are beautiful, and an awesome Yellow Lab ads to a great cast. The story becomes a bit far fetched, but hey, just sit back and watch Meryl having a ball as she navigates a raft down the river.
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10/10
A Family's Wild Ride Down The River
FloatingOpera720 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The River Wild (1994): Starring Meryl Streep, David Strathairn, Joseph Mazzello, Kevin Bacon, John C. Reilly, Victor Galloway, Elizabeth Hoffman, Benjamin Bratt William Lucking, Diane Delano...Director Curtis Hanson..Screenplay Dennis O'Neill This 1994 Curtis Hanson film followed the more successful "Hand That Rocks The Cradle" in 1992. It stars Meryl Streep as Gail Hartman, an expert camper and white-water rafter who is stuck in an increasingly stale marriage to Tom (David Strathairn). For her son Roarke (Joseph Mazello) 13rth birthday they decide to go out into the wild for a weekend. They come across two other rafters, Wade and Terry (Kevin Bacon and John C. Reilly) who take an interest in the boy. At first, it appears they have an agenda- they provoke Tom's jealousy as Gail is drawn to Wade, possibly because he reminds her of herself as a young girl. But Wade becomes a menace. He's a wanted theft and he forces the family into a precarious situation. They must cross extremely dangerous waters to get to their destination and fight off these baddies. This hard experience ultimately brings the family together. Tom, who changes from a weak father to hero, is a rather interesting transformation to see on film and he is played well by David Straithairn, a fab actor who is unfortunately underrated. Meryl Streep appears to be doing a film she would normally not attempt. She proves her versatility as a "cool" nature-loving mother and does not possess any of the Hollywood-fed glamour for this role. She is convincing as a middle-class American wife. The cinematography is stunning. The rapids are gorgeous and exciting to look at, the grand scenes of mountains and forests, rocks, steep cliffs. The music score is also lovely. A great film from the 90's by a director who's had fine and different-themed films in his repertoire.
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Streep in a wild, physical role.
TxMike29 August 2021
Meryl Streep is known more for sensitive roles but here in her 40s she was amazingly buff and strong. As the movie opens in the Boston area we see her rowing expertly in her single scull. That establishes her character's skills. We learn later that as a teenager was a guide for raft trips down river rapids in the western US.

Now she and her family are taking an intended low-key sightseeing vacation back to her wild roots. By happenstance they encounter a group of crooks who seek to exploit her expertise to escape law after a bank heist. It involves negotiating dangerous rapids.

While it isn't a great classic it is a suitably entertaining movie, as it always is when the good guys figure out a way to best the bad guys. I watched it at home on DVD from my public library.
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6/10
Up The Creek...
dunmore_ego28 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Kevin Bacon is definitely one of those good-guy actors who can pull off a sinister performance when called upon by a lusterless script. In THE RIVER WILD, he white-waters into mediocrity as the Bad Bacon, holding a family hostage to help him navigate Montana rapids after a heist. Is it TOO much of a coincidence that this movie is set on water and his name is … uh, "Wade"?

I've never considered Meryl Streep "hot." Until now. Something about her unkempt hairdo and the fact that she's the muscle in the raft. She's shot the unshootable rapids called "The Gauntlet" before and Kevin needs her hotness for the plot to wend its way toward the whitewater climax.

Writer Denis O' Neil and director Curtis Hanson aim for DELIVERANCE and get John C. Reilly as Ned Beatty (the slovenly henchman), David Strathairn as Jon Voight (Action Hero) and the annoying kid from JURASSIC PARK as The Annoying Kid From Jurassic Park.

Since I am no rafter, I can't comment authoritatively on whether the rafting sequences are authentic. For thrills, it was mundane, for direction, it was adequate, for plot, it was necessary, for hotness, Meryl shouting orders at the men and getting all wet – was priceless.

Strathairn works from the Plot Convenience Playhouse script of finding everything you need to rescue your wife and kid whenever you need it.
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5/10
Washed Up.
anaconda-4065830 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The River Wild (1994): Dir: Curtis Hanson / Cast: Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, David Strathairn, John C. Reilly, Benjamin Bratt: Toned down inspiration from Deliverance minus the common sense. And who thought up that stupid title? It sounds like fancy wording for a non fancy film. It regards a mother who was a former river rafter who takes her son and husband rafting only to encounter two sinister males who force her to raft the Gauntlet. Familiar plot contains its share of suspense including an effective climax but much of its credit goes to its leads. Against it are stupid situations such as the meathead ranger who cannot detect the obvious. Directed by Curtis Hanson handles the action with excellent photography. He previously made Bad Influence and may have had a few himself with the screenwriter on this film. Powerful performance by Streep who is positioned to risk all for the sake of her family and does so with guts and brains. Kevin Bacon makes for a superb sinister villain. Unfortunately to these two great performances comes the under performed. John C. Reilly is basically a sidekick thug to Bacon. David Strathairn is weighted down as stereotypical dad who seems able to outrun a raft. Benjamin Bratt plays the stupidest law enforcement officer since anyone in a Police Academy film. Survival theme cannot prevent lame situations within the screenplay from becoming washed up. Score: 5 / 10
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