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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Wild Things 2 (2004)

"You'll never guess what's beneath the surface."
- tagline

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: April 20, 2004

Stars: Susan Ward, Isiah Washington, Katie Stuart, Leila Arcieri
Director: Jack Perez

Manufacturer: DVDL
MPAA Rating: R for language, sexuality, nudity
Run Time: 01h:32m:41s
Release Date: April 20, 2004
UPC: 043396025684
Genre: suspense thriller

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B- D+B+B B-

DVD Review

When is a sequel not actually a sequel at all? It seems sometimes the answer is never. After retitling Manchester Prep into Cruel Intentions 2, now comes Wild Things 2. Originally titled The Glades, the film shares next to nothing with its predecessor, aside from the locations used and several steamy scenes with an abundance of sexuality.

Wild Things 2 opens with Niles Dunlap (Anthony Denison) running up a large gambling debt. Shortly after an enforcer from his creditors threatens his life, Niles boards a plane only to never touch the ground again. After his unfortunate death, his stepdaughter Brittney (Ward) inherits a small sum of money to be paid to her on a yearly basis, but since she is not a blood heir, she is not entitled to the whole amount of her late stepfather's bank accounts. Then there is Maya King (Arcieri), a girl from the "other side of the tracks" who claims to be the illegitimate child of Dunlap, and if this can be proved in court she stands to gain upwards of fifty million dollars—and Brittney would be left with nothing.

When an insurance investigator (Washington) desperate to save his job getsd involved, he begins to see that things are not as they seem. And after he finds rats aboard the plane, things turn into a downward spiral and double-crosses come along at a rampant rate.

Director Jack Perez does a fine job of keeping the film from veering too far into outlandish territory and his sense of style is abundantly evident in numerous scenes. Perez uses the locations in the film to effectively convey atmosphere, especially in the scenes set in swampy areas.

To be truthful, if Wild Things 2 had retained its original title, the film would not be buoyed by the expectations that come from following up a popular film. While none of the original cast or crew have returned, the two films share a twisty plot and an identical essential (or disgusting, depending on your outlook) sex scene. For the most part, when all of the twists and turns are done and over, the film has very little left going for it. Details concerning the plot are brought up at the exact moment that they need to be and to the exact person to whom they need to be said. Whereas the first film was intriguing right up until the closing credits, this one seems very by the numbers in the way in which things play out. To make matters worse, the film even recycles lines as well as situations verbatim from the original.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: D+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer for Wild Things 2 is done very nicely with a crisp and clear picture that is very pleasing to the eye. Sharpness and detail are each nearly perfect, while colors are reproduced nicely with no evident bleeding. I did notice some slight artifacting throughout, which is a small detriment. Edge enhancement is never overly visible.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for Wild Things 2 is largely based in the center speaker with the surround channels getting only a slight amount of activity. Dialogue is rich and clear with no dropouts evident while the left and right speakers do a nice job of filling out the soundfield.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish, Korean, Thai, Portuguese with remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Wild Things, Cruel intentions, Sin, In The Cut
1 Documentaries
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extras Review: A 22-minute "making of" featurette is included though it is largely promotional. It is nice to hear about the making of the film as well as how the cast and crew took from the original, but there is little substance to be found here. Trailers for the original film, In The Cut, Sin and Cruel Intentions are included.

Extras Grade: B-


Final Comments

Overall, I can not say that I hated Wild Things 2 as much as I felt sorry for it; the film will never live up to the original. On its own merits, Wild Things 2 could have been seen as simply a grade B picture with a few nice surprises. Instead it feels like a big case of déja vù.


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