The River Wild
2/4
poster

Details & Information from IMDB

Genre Adventure
Year 1994
Duration 108 min
Rating 6.1 out of 10
Description: Gail (Meryl Streep) is a professional at water rafting. She twigs every day, and she is in a very good shape. She takes her family, one day, to a rafting trip down the river, but she has no idea that the planed trip is about to become a nightmare. Two escaping robbers with a handgun, meet the family in the way, and join them to the trip. Only later the Gail realize that their new friends are dangerous criminals, but it's too late. The two men force them to stay together, and to keep cruising down the river. The family's life are risked not only by the 2 men, but also by the river which becomes more stormy and wilder.
Comments: Meryl Streep plays a part out of her normal range in Curtis Hanson's 1994 actioner, as an expert whitewater rafter, who has to save herself and her son - eventually with the aid of hubby - from a couple of desperados, who insist on being taken through some awesome rapids. I don't know how much was Streep, how much stunt-double, and how much effects, but her character emerges as a convincing woman of action who is also an anxious mother.

Kevin Bacon is very effective as a regular guy, who just happens to be a psychotic criminal in his off moments; John C Reilly plays his weak, shifty sidekick; and Joseph Mazzello is the son, who initially finds Bacon more fun than his dad. It is David Strathairn, though, who for me takes the male acting honours, as a distant, serious-minded husband and father, who gets going when the going gets tough - though luckily, through thick and thin, he never loses his glasses!

There is more than a touch of Deliverance, and the ending is pre-ordained; but the film is entertaining and gripping throughout, and is aided by some breathtaking Rockies scenery, beautifully shot. (There's a faithful dog too!)