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Case Number 18992: Small Claims Court

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Wild Things: Foursome

Sony // 2010 // 91 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Bromley // May 28th, 2010

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All Rise...

Judge Patrick Bromley needed four shots of Pepto-Bismol to stomach this picture.

Editor's Note

Our review of Wild Things: Foursome (Blu-Ray), published June 1st, 2010, is also available.

The Charge

Enjoy the ride.

The Case

The thing about Wild Things: Foursome is that I hate Wild Things: Foursome. The fourth film in what is becoming Sony's equivalent of the American Pie or Air Bud franchise, Wild Things: Foursome is a near-identical of John McNaughton's original 1998 Wild Things with a few key differences—namely, that the performances, screenplay, and direction are all much, much worse. It all feels like a made-for-TV movie, only with some more gratuitous nudity (not much, pervs) and a little bit of badly-handled violence. Actually, even that comparison isn't really apt; we live just after the golden age of HBO, where TV movies are as good if not better than some of what makes it to theaters. No, Wild Things: Foursome feels like a TV movie from 1990. On Lifetime. Made by high schoolers who have only seen one movie in their lives. That movie? Wild Things.

The plot. Is there a plot? There's tons of it. There is no story, but there's a lot of plot. If you've seen Wild Things, you already know the plot: sexed up young people concoct a scheme to get some money by making false rape allegations when really they're all working/sleeping together. Money corrupts them, as money often does, and there's some backstabbing and some murdering. Then, over the end credits, we get to see a bunch of scenes and moments that fill in all the information we've been missing so that the twists make sense. When McNaughton employed this technique in Wild Things, it was very clever. Here, it's utterly pointless, because we aren't missing any information. Everything has already been spelled out. Instead of getting necessary pieces of the puzzle, all we're seeing is a series of things that happened off camera. They should have shown the characters eating breakfast and doing math homework and watching Deadliest Catch. Those things happened off camera, too, I think.

But, of course, you're only reading this review to find out if Wild Things: Foursome has "the scene." You know "the scene" I'm talking about. The original Wild Things is still pretty much only talked about because it featured "the scene": a three-way tryst with stars Matt Dillon, Neve Campbell, and Denise Richards. Now, not only do all of the direct-to-DVD Wild Things also feature "the scene," but I would argue it's their entire reason for being. The only reason anyone rents or buys a movie with the words Wild Things in the title is to watch more than two actors participate in simulated sex. You'd think these people have never heard of the series of tubes we call the internet, where that kind of thing is easier to find than movie times or directions to Taco Bell/KFC. Add a Pizza Hut Express to that bad boy and you've got the Wild Things of fast food places.

So, yes, Wild Things: Foursome has "the scene," and even "ups" the "stakes" by including one additional body in the mix. That's where the clever title comes from. It's a play on words, see? Because this is the fourth movie, but also because of this other thing. "The scene" is not sexy. It doesn't twist the plot the way it did in the first film. All it amounts to is a couple of actors taking a shower together. The participants are who you'd expect—the two girls we believe to be adversaries (Jillian Murray from An American Carol and Marnette Patterson of Starship Troopers 3: Marauder) and a slack-jawed guy (Ashley Parker Angel from the boy band O-Town). Then, a third girl shows up, and she's supposed to be critical to the plot but she's only in three scenes. She might as well be the barista from a Starbucks that the characters frequent. Offscreen, of course.

What am I forgetting? Oh, yeah. John Schneider is the biggest star in this, and he's not bad. I could never stomach The Dukes of Hazzard, but I liked him on Smallville. Here, he just goes around from scene to scene putting together a mystery that we in the audience already have figured out, making his whole character kind of a waste. And, again, if you've seen Wild Things, you know how it all turns out. This movie has absolutely no imagination, which it could have used to compensate for its lack of technical proficiency or polish. It's badly directed by Andy Hurst, who wrote the previous two DTV Wild Things installments, so I would argue that's where his talents lie if I had actually seen the previous two Wild Things installments or if they weren't direct to DVD sequels to Wild Things. The Florida locations look drab and boring. Star Marnette Patterson is openly miserable for the entire film, and isn't even listed among the cast on the film's IMDb page. That bums me out. If you're going to be Wild Things: Foursome, commit to being in Wild Things: Foursome.

Even Sony's DVD of Wild Things: Foursome is a mess. The film is presented in an anamorphic widescreen transfer of 1.85:1, and for a new movie released in 2010 it looks rather bad. Colors are flat, skin tones are wrong (or is that just the bronzer?) and there's way too much softness and grain throughout the whole thing. It's a bad transfer of a movie that doesn't look that great to begin with. The 5.1 surround audio track is fine but utterly unremarkable, making it one of the best things about the disc. There are absolutely no extra features.

Also, don't be fooled by the "Unrated" label on Wild Things: Foursome, as it's become an increasingly meaningless marketing tool to move more DVDs. There's nothing in the movie that wouldn't have qualified it for a standard R, but "unrated" sounds so much more lascivious, doesn't it? Of course, if you are fooled into checking out Wild Things: Foursome, you deserve what you get.

The Verdict

Barf.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 62

Perp Profile

Studio: Sony
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Portuguese)
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Thai)
Subtitles:
• English (SDH)
• Chinese
• French
• Portuguese
• Spanish
• Thai
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Drama
• Thriller

Distinguishing Marks

• None

Accomplices

• IMDb








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