The River Wild (1994)

CURTIS HANSON

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

USA, 1994.  Universal Pictures, Turman-Foster Company, David Foster Productions.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by . Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  Golden Globe Awards 1994

Meryl Streep takes her husband (David Strathairn) and son () on a white water-rafting trip for the first time since her teenage days, when it was her job as a guide. She’s thrown into the deep end when a trio of bad guys led by take the family hostage and force her to raft them down a breakneck canyon pass in order to elude the authorities that they have been outrunning. Director Curtis Hanson doesn’t let this exciting film flag for a second, superbly keeping the editing tight and the tension at the highest possible maximum. All the success of the film, however, is due to the brilliance of Streep in the lead: she paddles and grunts with the best of them, showing the kind of tough attitude and forthright leadership that would have Schwarzenegger on his knees begging for mercy.

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