Wild Things

on March 20, 1998 by Dwayne Leslie
   The calamity that befalls school guidance counselor Sam ("In & Out's" Matt Dillon) is the nucleus of a story that tries its best to be a thriller. Spoiled rich girl Kelly ("Starship Troopers'" Denise Richards) and rebel Suzie ("Scream 2's" Neve Campbell) set out to destroy any remains of Sam's good name when they accuse him of rape. The accusations rip through the town and set the pace for the double-, triple-, and quadruple-crossing that follows--twists that are intriguing at first, but quickly grow tiring. In an attempt to add some stable reality to the plot, Detective Duquette (Kevin Bacon) and his partner Detective Perez (Daphne Rubin-Vega) are injected into the formula and try to unravel the plot--no mean feat, given that "Wild Things'" serpentine plotline fails to hint upon key information needed for one to keep up with this so-called thriller. This tale of revenge does manage to sidestep cliches and predictability found in this genre, but it goes too far out of the lines to be appreciated. Additionally, any tension "Wild Things" tries to build is undermined by the performers' seeming attempts to underact each other. They seem to be reading lines to the camera instead of participating in the scene.    Starring Matt Dillon, Neve Campbell, Denise Richards and Kevin Bacon. Directed by John McNaughton. Written by Stephen Peters. Produced by Rodney Liber and Steven Jones. A Columbia release. Drama. Rated R for strong sexuality, nudity,language and some violence. 106 mins.
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