Sony // 2010 // 92 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Clark Douglas // June 1st, 2010
The stakes are high, and the winner takes all.
I enjoyed John McNaughton's Wild Things, a trashy-but-fun little mystery that offered a nice sense of atmosphere, some fine performances, and an entertainingly convoluted screenplay. However, the film is best-remembered for the infamous scene in which Matt Dillon, Neve Campbell, and Denise Richards engaged in a champagne-fueled ménage-a-trois. Indeed, the scene proved so popular that some bright mind decided that Wild Things should serve as the inspiration for a direct-to-DVD franchise, giving us such esteemed classics as Wild Things 2 and Wild Things: Diamonds in the Rough. Oddly enough, the sequels are actually closer to being remakes, as they recycle the plot of the original Wild Things with entirely new characters. Now we're at it again with Wild Things: Foursome, which is an appropriately self-explanatory title: it's basically a remake of Wild Things with a foursome instead of a threesome.
And boy, is this flick a stinker. The level of acting, directing, and writing are embarrassing even by direct-to-DVD standards; it's a film clearly made by people who have absolutely no idea of why the original Wild Things was a fun flick in the first place. The delicious twists and turns in the original film are replaced by someone's headache-inducing fetish for needlessly overcomplicating things in this one. The compelling characters are replaced by paper-thin knock-offs. The genuine sense of steamy Florida atmosphere is replaced by laughable attempts to forcibly inject a sense of place into the proceedings. It's not just that this sequel is worse than the original film; it's that this sequel is a version of the original film sent to earth from a universe where everything 100 times worse than on this planet.
Okay, the particular plot details of Wild Things: Foursome go something like this: Carson Wheetly (Ashley Parker Angel -- yes, he's a dude) is a spoiled rich boy and an immature tool. Despite the protests of his father Ted (Cameron Daddo, Passengers), Carson lives a wild party life and irresponsibly spends his daddy's money. When Ted dies in an auto accident, Carson assumes that he'll inherit all of the money. Alas, it seems that his father has locked up the money and won't allow Carson to have it until he turns 30. Carson is desperate to get his hands on the money, but he's not the only one. Some of his so-called "friends" are plotting to frame Carson for rape in order to blackmail him into delivering some of that cash. So then...
Ah, screw it. I don't care, and neither will you. While we're on the subject, the movie doesn't care, either. The whole thing is an elaborate excuse to set up a couple of steamy sex scenes (which are flat and underwhelming in and of themselves), which might have been an understandable exercise 20 years ago but which seems pointless now that we live in the Internet age. Wanna watch people have a foursome? You're just a colorfully worded Google search away. The movie plods through its mystery in such a bland manner. If this were an original tale there might have been an element of surprise, but because it's borrowing twists from the original Wild Things we see everything coming well in advance.
There's a detective in the film played by John Schneider (Smallville), who (believe it or not) seems overqualified for this dreck. He smiles and smirks his way through the role, piecing together one clue after another. According to the back of the DVD case, "As he digs deeper into the death (of Ted), he becomes more and more suspicious of the scheming, seduction, greed, double crossing and possibly even cold-blooded murder." Say what? That's not stuff you become suspicious of, that's the business you find after you become suspicious and complete your investigation. Those responsible for the film are as untrustworthy as the characters, amusingly indicated by the fact that the back of the case informs us that Ted dies in a, "speed boat accident" rather than in an auto racing accident.
The hi-def transfer is underwhelming, as the image is nowhere near as detailed as you would expect a brand new release like this one to be. The image is soft and fuzzy much of the time, flesh tones are way off, there's little depth...ugh, it's a mess. Actually, it may be the single worst Blu-ray release I've seen for a brand-new film. Had I not known I was watching a Blu-ray, I would have guessed it was a DVD (and not a DVD with a great transfer). Audio is fine, though occasionally the music selections are a bit loud in contrast to everything else. There are no supplements of any sort on the disc.
While Wild Things: Foursome may sound like fun on paper, trust me, it's not. I hated this movie with a passion, as there isn't a single moment that rings true or offers interest of any sort. It's amateurish rubbish made by morons, for morons. The Blu-ray release sucks, too. Avoid this at all costs.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated