Wild Things 2 review by Mike Long

If I were to list all of the unnecessary and/or unwanted sequels that had been made over the years, I would probably burn out jackasscritics.com's server. There are many reasons to dislike these cinematic stepchildren, whether it be because the first film worked fine as a stand-alone story, or all of the original characters were dead, or some combination of those traits. In the case of Wild Things 2, the simple fact of the matter is that there's no way that this new movie can top the outlandish nature of Wild Things .

Wild Things 2 is a sequel in name only, with the location of Blue Bay, Florida being the only trait that the film shares with original. Susan Ward stars as Brittney Havers, a poor little rich girl. (Ward played the same kind of character in The In-Crowd, but that character's name was Brittany. She how that's different?) Brittney grew up poor, but her mother married the wealthy Niles Dunlap (Tony Denison), and Brittney became part of high-society. But, things haven't been the same since her mom committed suicide by driving her car into the swamp. Brittney tries to make the most of her posh life, but things get worse when Dunlap is killed in a plane crash. During the reading of the will, Brittney is shocked to learn that she is to only receive a (relatively) small stipend, as Dunlap wanted his money to go to a blood relative. Suddenly, local bad-girl Maya King (Leila Arcieri) comes forward claiming to be Dunlap's bastard child, and subsequent blood tests prove this to be true. Brittney is livid that this trampy girls is going to get her money. Meanwhile, insurance investigator Terence Bridge (Isaiah Washington) arrives on the scene, and begins to suspect that Dunlap's crash wasn't an accident. So, if Dunlap was murdered for his money, who did it?

The good new is that Wild Things 2 never tries to out-twist Wild Things, for if it did, the plot would probably wander into David Lynch-land. The bad news is that Wild Things 2 does very little to separate itself from the myriad other entries in the erotic-thriller category, and is the epitome of a low-budget, direct-to-video sequel. Had the film not been called Wild Things 2, would it be judged so harshly? The honest answer is probably not. As the film is intending to follow one of the trickiest thrillers ever, the viewer is on guard to look for impending plot twists and therefore, will see many of them coming. This element is only heightened by the fact that the murder-for-money plot isn't very original. So, even for a sequel, Wild Things 2 has a definite "seen it all before" feel.

The really strange thing is that even thought this is a stand-alone story, the movie still has to work in the gratuitous three-way sex scene, just so people remember that this is the sequel to Wild Things. Also, the lesbian angle is introduced once again, but it feels even more forced here. Wild Things 2 also recreates the "scenes you didn't see" element in the end credits which was introduced in the original film. Director Jack Perez only had 21 days to make the movie and he keeps things moving along at an OK pace, but he must have had a mantra of "Shots of alligators worked in the first one, I'll have twice as many in my movie!" Fans of Wild Things will be disappointed by this late-arriving wannabe sequel.

Wild Things 2 slums its way onto DVD courtesy of Columbia/Tri-Star Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. Given the shoddy nature of the film, this is a damn good DVD. The image is very sharp and clear, showing zero grain and displaying no defects from the source material. The colors are rich and true, and the blacks are very deep. The image is very stable and artifacting defects are kept to a minimum. The DVD's Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is equally impressive, as it provides clear dialogue and fine music reproduction. The surround sound effects work quite well, especially the swamp sounds, and the LFE response is quite good. Why is it always movies like this that have such good transfers?

The only true extra on the Wild Things 2 DVD is a 22-minute making-of featurette entitled "Making the Glades" ("The Glades" was the original subtitle for the film). This is made up mostly of clips from the movie and random behind-the-scenes footage. Director Jack Perez does get a lot of on-screen time, as he discusses the challenges of not only making a low-budget film on a tight schedule, but delivering a sequel to a popular movie. The DVD also contains a trailer for Wild Things 2, which is presented in a full-frame format.

3 out of 10 Jackasses

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