WARNING: At a time when violence in films is under increased scrutiny, perhaps a warning is appropriate for these two films — Wild Things and Bound. We’ve go an abundance of sex and violence.
A second warning should be sounded for Wild Things — not for sex and violence — but to alert viewers to not give up on it before they catch on. The film begins as some sort of slick, adolescent comedy, a Mean Girls kind of movie. It isn’t. What you think is happening isn’t. What you figured out is actually happening isn’t. It’s not what you think. And you need to watch the entire film, including the credits because when the film appears to end, it hasn’t.
Matt Dillon plays a guidance counsel, accused of rape by two young girls — Neve Campbell and Denise Richards. Police sex crimes investigator Kevin Bacon wants to nail Dillon. And Bill Murray, a sleazy lawyer, is tapped to defend the accused. There is actually more sex than violence in this one. And the only one who keeps his clothes on is Murray. Wild Thing was directed by John McNaughton (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer) and released in 1998.
If you think that the sex between Neve Campbell and Denise Richards is torrid, then you must hide your eyes when Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly get into bed. There are those who mistakenly categorize this as a lesbian film as if that would be the primary audience. It is that, but it is more than that. It is a major crime thriller as well.
Tilly’s character is desperate to get away from her gangster boyfriend, but has always depended on the support of men she didn’t love to survive in the fashion she had become accustomed to, feigning empty-headedness and enduring some abuse and humiliation as the price she had to pay. But she’s tired of it. When she meets a very butch, gorgeous, independent, and tough Gina Gershon, all hell breaks loose. Joe Pantoliano is exactly right as the boyfriend, who is about to be swindled out of $2 million dollars by the new lovers and who will, therefore, be on the hit list of the mob to whom the money belongs. Of course, it’s not as easy as all that.
The supporting cast is stellar, including Law & Order’s Christopher Meloni as the son of a mafia boss. Bound was the first full-length feature by Andy and Lana Wachowski, who also directed Matrix, V for Vendetta and Cloud Atlas. It was released in 1996 to shock and acclaim.
Bound would rank pretty high on my list of all-time crime films. And these two are perfect for small-screeen, stay-at-home night. And if you aren’t driving then a few bourbon on the rocks for the sensuous and suspenseful evening are appropriate.