Saturday, August 19, 2006

WILDERNESS - derivative but entertaining Brit thriller

WILDERNESS is a stupid name for this film. It should blatantly have been called THE ISLAND, but I suppose that even low-rent Brit thrillers don't want to associated with Michael Bay. Speaking of which, one of the trailers for this flick was for the Michael Bay movie of TRANSFORMERS*. That's right. Robots in disguise. The mind boggles.

Anyways, back to the plot. WILDERNESS is a suprisingly entertaining revenge drama. The plot is very similar to the better acted, scripted and directed British revenge thriller,
DEAD MAN'S SHOES. A bunch of vicious murderers, sociopaths and rapists are taken by their prison officer for a team-building exercise on a deserted ex-Army base/island. Only problem is some vicious dogs and a sniper start to pick them off one by one for reasons that later become clear. It's not really a horror movie even though there is a lot of high-class gore. It's not really much of a thriller either because the reason for the murders is explained pretty early on. Still, the whole thing is well-made and skips along at a fast pace with a very liberal helping of gallows humour. The exercise gets a touch of class from an impressive cast, headed up by the not-unattractive Sean Pertwee and Toby Kebbell - who is consistently brilliant and deserves more notice.

All in all, despite its admitted predictability, WILDERNESS is a must-see British flick.

WILDERNESS is currently on release in the UK. It's out on Region 2 DVD on December 11th 2006. *Interestingly enough, the man voicing Optimus Prime also voiced Eeyore in the TV version of Winnie the Pooh. Hardly inspiring.

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