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With Jim Sabatini

The River Wild

The River Wild
Meryl Streep, David Straithairn, Kevin Bacon and Joseph Mazello

Rated: PG-13  for language and some violence.
Reviewed by: Chris  
Release date: September 30, 1994 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.

A raft ride down a raging river is pretty exciting in itself; add a pumped-up Meryl Streep, her young son and husband, and a couple of killers along for the ride, and you have the ingredients for this entertaining film.

Streep plays Gail, a Boston teacher, married to Tom, an architect (David Straithairn), who's been working so much he has little time for his family.

Gail plans a whitewater rafting trip to help patch her ailing marriage and give son, Rourke (Joseph Mazello), a chance to see the beauty of the Northwest River where she was a guide during her teens.

On the trip, they meet fellow rafters, Wade (Kevin Bacon), his friend and a guide. When their guide suddenly disappears, Wade and his buddy ask Gail to help them navigate through the rough rapids ahead.

Wade strikes up a friendship with Rourke, much to his father's dismay, and uses his boyish charms on Gail. At first, she laughs off her husband's concerns, but then begins sensing a darker side to Wade herself. When the family tries to sneak away from these characters, the ride gets rocky.

Bacon is great as the intense killer, as is Straithairn as the concerned father.

The pace of the film begins with easy going, tranquil waters and days filled with fishing and slowly builds to a rip-roaring climax. It's a trip well worth taking.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
The River Wild     B+                     B+ 

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