Meryl Streep
Kevin Bacon
David Strathairn
John C. Reilly
Joseph Mazzello
Stephanie Sawyer
William Lucking
Benjamin Bratt

Curtis Hanson

"I am a nice guy. Just a different kind of nice guy."
Time: 108 mins.
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Action/Thriller
SYNOPSIS: A white-water river guide has her family vacation rudely interrupted by two bank robbers who force her – with husband and son in tow – to help them escape down world class rapids that could kill them all.

BOTTOM LINE: Streep steps out of her comfort zone and takes a risk by jumping feet first into the action adventure genre. No wife in peril for her, she showcases her prodigious talent by playing the hero going believably toe to toe with bad guys. There's not much to this story – she basically tries to keep her family alive while rafting down the river – but her presence and the expertise of Bacon, Reilly and Strathairn brings the quality level up more than a few notches. That doesn't mean this is the best thriller ever made, yet Streep and Bacon make the trip worth a look. He plays a very creepy and charming killer, who would have you hoping for his escape if he would only stop killing innocent people. Like any normal woman, her emotions run the gamut from scared to angry to hysterical to amused, as she desperately tries anything and everything to get these men out of the boat dead or alive. It's an intense situation that doesn't take much imagination to get excited about. It's her wits and skill against their brute force and determination. Add the explosive unpredictability of the river and you've got a very fun ride. Hansen keeps the action constantly moving towards the inevitible climactic battle between good and evil that's satisfying, yet somewhat predictable. The only people surprised by the outcome are the bad guys. Women aren't generally wanton killers, but give us a good reason, like threatening the lives of our children, and we'll pull the trigger without a qualm. If you like the actors WILD is an entertaining way to pass the time that will make you think twice about that rafting trip.