Meryl Streep uses her toned arms and tawny, rippling thighs to do more than ride the rapids. She acts with them; she sits astride her raft like the feisty queen of the jocks. Yet even with Streep to hold The River Wild together, the film is a cheesy, plot-hole-riddled thriller. Streep and David Strathairn play an unhappily married couple who take their 10-year-old son on a rafting trip in the sun-dappled Northwest, where they bump into a pair of leering nogoodniks (Kevin Bacon and John C. Reilly). Before the film reaches its white-water climax, which is photographed to make the audience experience every queasy bump and plunge, we have to sit through 90 minutes of draggy TV-movie melodrama. C+
Genre: Mystery and Thriller, Action/Adventure; Starring: Kevin Bacon, Joseph Mazzello, Meryl Streep, John C. Reilly, David Strathairn; Director: Curtis Hanson; Status: In Season; MPAA Rating: In Season
Posted October 21 1994 — 12:00 AM EDT
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