Wild Things 2 (2003)

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Released 28-Jun-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Featurette-Making Of-Making The Glades
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Ride Or Die
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 90:56
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (47:02) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Jack Perez
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Susan Ward
Leila Arcieri
Isaiah Washington
Joe Michael Burke
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Andrew Feltenstein
John Nau


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Dutch
Russian
Arabic
Croatian
Czech
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Hindi
Hungarian
Norwegian
Polish
Romanian
Slovenian
Swedish
Turkish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes, mostly by a doctor too.
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, as with the first, the credits explain the twists.

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    So, you happen to be the owner of something of an oddity - a reasonably well thought of sleazy southern-noir tale of treachery, sex and debauchery (or to put it another way, a twisted soap opera about crime featuring Denise Richards' breasts and Kevin Bacon's, umm, bacon), so what do you do? Make a direct-to-video sequel of course. Rather than an actual sequel, Wild Things 2 is essentially a remake, being a virtual carbon copy of the original 1998 offering, but with a no-name cast and no male nudity. There are no shared characters, actors, or even creative talent between the two films (in fact, this film was produced under the working title The Glades which suggests the link to Wild Things may not have been intended to be quite as strong).

    This time 'round the block, we have teenage rich-b**** Brittney Havers (Susan Ward, whose career highlights are a stint on Baywatch rip-off Sunset Beach, and playing Jack Black's attractive neighbour Jill in Shallow Hal) attempting to come to grips with the recent death of her mother while still doing her best to help the Blue Bay High volleyball team (all "teen" girls are clad in tight tops and short shorts, naturally) win the regional championships. When her step-father dies in a plane crash, it seems her life could not get worse, but after the school dropout and general "out" girl Maya (Leila Arcieri) pops up claiming to be daddy's only surviving blood relative - hence becoming eligible for all of his huge inheritance - she is at rock-bottom. Or is she? There is more going on than there seems in the sleepy Florida Everglades town of Blue Bay, and insurance investigator Terence Bridge is out to prove it.

    Wild Things 2 almost exactly copies many of the original's twists and turns, to such an extent that fans of the original will only be mildly surprised with the result. This film also copies a number of scenes from the original - so we have the court room scene, the motel scenes, and most importantly, the threesome scene. The scene that made the original famous, for featuring the nipples of both Matt Dillon and Denise Richards, and even more famous for not featuring any flesh from Neve Campbell (although some would say that is a good thing), is reprised in this follow up. Virtually to the letter. Right down to the fact that while two of the three are busy getting hot and steamy, Susan Ward stands by well clothed, and the scene fades to black as she (or her body double...) takes her top off. The resemblance is eerie - but hey, if it worked once, why not try it again? (For added fun watch for the tell-tale signs of a body double in action during this scene).

    In its own weird way, this "sequel" that is not a sequel works well enough. Certainly, it does not have the budget, polish, nor star calibre of the first. It is also sorely missing the comedic elements, especially those imparted by Billy Murray the first time around, this time hitting for a more straight crime thriller. But in the vein of a melodramatic, somewhat sleazy crime thriller, this is not actually too bad - although rising above the remainder of the genre is akin to fighting to be on top of the midden heap. The performances are actually surprisingly good (as long as you can accept the mid-to-late 20's "teen" girls), and the look of the film is still quite atmospheric, with plenty of beach-side action and the like. It is never going to win any awards, but for what it is, Wild Things 2 is definitely worth a rent for those prepared admit to their own inner sleazy self.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer lives up to expectations for a very recent movie, and is excellent indeed.

    Presented at 1.85:1, this transfer is 16x9 enhanced. Since Wild Things 2 never played theatrically, it is difficult to tell if 1.85:1 was the original aspect ratio, but from the information available, it does appear to be the case.

    Sharpness is superb, and the level of fine detail is amazing. The opening scenes of the Everglades are simply stunning in their clarity and beauty. There is little in the way of grain present, with only shots of open sky producing any distracting grain, such as from 13:35 as the plane takes off, and again between 78:33 and 78:38. Shadow detail is also excellent, revealing abundant depth to more dimly lit scenes.

    Colours are excellent, representing the appropriate areas, from the tacky Florida architecture to the green and brown Everglades, without any problems.

    This is one of the cleanest transfer you are likely to see, with no compression artefacts, no film artefacts, and only a small amount of mild aliasing, none of which is distracting enough to note. Excellent work.

    The sub titles are reasonably accurate, only abbreviating the odd sentence. They are well paced and easy to read.

    This is an RSDL formatted disc with the layer change taking place at 47:02 during Chapter 16. It is located on a camera angle change, but is relatively obvious as it occurs in the middle of a scene and interrupts the dialogue flow.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    This audio transfer is very good, although the lower-budget nature of this movie has also produced a lesser level of sound design.

    There are four audio tracks on this disc, being the original English dialogue, and dubs in Russian, Hungarian, and Czech. All are presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 (at 448 Kbps).

    Dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times, and there are no southern accents to cause any problems for those who have difficulty with accents. Audio sync is spot on throughout the movie, with one exception, where at 49:31 it goes out for about three words, which is probably an ADR issue.

    The musical score is credited to Andrew Feltenstein and John Nau, and is decidedly average fare. That is not to say that it is bad, but neither is it good, only doing its job and nothing more.

    Surround activity is disappointingly lacking, but this is most likely a result of the lower budget and more conservative sound design than anything else. The surrounds do come to life from time to time, but for the most part, this plays out like a three-channel soundtrack.

    The subwoofer is well used, backing up both the score and the sound effects with more bass, providing a solid grounding for the movie's soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are very few extras on this disc, but then again, what did you expect?

Menu

    The menu is silent, static, themed around the movie, and is 16x9 enhanced.

Featurette - Making The Glades (22:22)

    Presented at 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio, this is actually a little better than you would expect for a making-of. It reveals quite a bit of information about the production (as well as the usual backslapping), including the fact that it was shot in only 21 days. Well worth watching, although it most definitely shouldn't be watched before the movie itself.

Trailers

    There are two trailers available:

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    There are no available reviews of the Region 1 version of Wild Things 2 at this time, but it seems that it is being released world-wide with the same configuration, so it shouldn't matter where you get it from.

Summary

    Wild Things 2 is good enough for what it is - a somewhat sleazy crime thriller. Fans of the original will hardly be surprised, and those who are interested but haven't seen the original would be better off renting that, but it is still worth a watch for those who don't mind slumming it.

    The video quality is brilliant - the details and colours are stunning.

    The audio quality is good, although not allowed to really shine due to the restrictive nature of the soundtrack.

    The extras are hardly extensive, but a movie like this hardly calls for extensive extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Jardine (My bio, it's short - read it anyway)
Thursday, March 18, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-555K, using Component output
DisplayLoewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS787, THX Select
SpeakersRochester Audio Animato Series (2xSAF-02, SAC-02, 3xSAB-01) + 12" Sub (150WRMS)

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Martin F (read my bio)

Comments (Add)
Billy Murray? - Cardiff Giant (Must have the word 'bio' or 'biography' in it) REPLY POSTED
Good bit of fun, worth a look. - gRANT (Read my bio, mmm... uncompressed surround audio)