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River Wild, The (1994)
Movie Review by The Mortician

River Wild, The (1994) Finally caught up with this one, I love wilderness/survival movies like this and RIVER WILD is kind of a PG-13 Deliverance. Meryl Steep, looking as hot and in-shape as she ever has, takes the family out on a white rapid water vacation. She's a former pro at the subject, having taught it and run awards for going over a big waterfall back in her teen days, and her kid goes along for the action (it's his birthday) along with a wimpy, city slicker husband. Of course, once they get going, there's trouble to be had. Two criminals, who robbed some kind of place, are on the run with a bag full of cash, and wouldn't you know it, they overpower Streep and family's canoe and force them to take them "over the big waterfall" where they plan to make their escape. All the perks are here- a strong female lead (I mean, come on- it's Streep's show here, an Academy Award winning actress doing the action thing) so you know the female lead is gonna dominate and she's gonna make mincemeat out of all the males, mentally and physically! And so she does. But the lead bad guy is Kevin Bacon, and ol' Kevin gives her a run for her money with his psychotic performance here. Streep turns the bad guys against each other and struggles to protect her family. Hubby tries to be the hero but pretty much fails most of the time,but seriously, what makes this movie is the action and white water rafting scenes- obviously not faked and very dangerous. They are exhilarating, suspenseful, and just plain tense---I sure wouldn't want to face that challenge on those kind of waters. Again, Streep is looking good here, muscular, tan, and so curvy, and does a nice skinny dipping bath scene where Bacon spies on her, so not ALL the exploitation is missing from this PG-13 epic. Streep's kid is played by Timmy from JURASSIC PARK, so you know he's gonna make it- heck, he faced raging dinos with Doctor Grant, so a couple of bank robbers are nothing for this kid, you know? RIVER WILD is a really good ride if you're into survival flicks in the wilderness, kind of watered down versions of DELIVERANCE, so...if that's what you're looking for, you'll do mighty fine looking back at this one. And gotta say, Kevin Bacon's psycho performance is quite good here!

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