WILD THINGS: FOURSOME – Blu-ray review

On February 15, 2010, I published a review of the Sony Pictures Classics film “The Damned United” and wrote “‘The Damned United’ might be the best Blu-ray release in 2010 thus far.” I’m happy to report I have found a film, “Wild Things: Foursome,” I can safely claim as the worst Blu-ray release of 2010 thus far.

A direct to DVD/Blu-ray release from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, I’d put “Wild Things: Foursome” up with the worst movies I’ve ever seen. It’s that bad. Everything in it is bad, from the picture quality to the performances to the script. About the only thing even anywhere close to clever here is the film’s twisted he said/she said plot, but that gets lost super fast among too much soft core pornography, vulgar language and crummy filmmaking components.

You may be interested to know that “Wild Things: Foursome” is the fourth film in the “Wild Things” series. Sadly, this is four films too many. Unlike the earlier works, which had a few recognizable faces now and again, this one has people, characters and elements I’d prefer to forget very soon. This film stinks with entitlement, over indulgence and airbrushed wealthy people who have nothing better to do than drink, have sex, drink some more, plot against each other and then get physically violent. Some may call it entertaining; I call it a total waste of 92 minutes I’d love to have back.

Carson Wheetly (Ashley Parker Angel) has just about everything a rich boy with a mansion on the Florida coast could ever ask for: his own boat, money, privilege and a super hot girlfriend, Rachel (Marnette Patterson). During a party one day, his old buddy Shane Hendricks (Josh Randall) shows up unannounced with Brandi Cox (Jillian Murray) set to challenge Carson to a $10,000 boat race. He agrees, loses, and is left picking up his jock strap on the ride back.

Carson and Brandi chat a little bit, and eventually share a kiss before his father, Ted (Cameron Daddo) returns from a business trip with his personal assistant George Stuben (Ethan Smith). Ted gives his son an ultimatum to shape up or ship out, but within a day or so he’s killed in a road race, leaving Carson to inherit his fortune. Before any money moves, Brandi accuses Carson of rape with witness support from Linda Dobson (Jessie Nickson), another scantily clad female at the party that afternoon.

Investigating this cluster is Detective Frank Walker (John Schneider), who could use a haircut and a shave to boot. He starts poking around, and eventually we learn that Carson, Rachel, Brandi and Linda were all in this together, setting up the plot to kill Ted and steal his millions. To verify this alliance, the four connect in a sex scene that is probably the reason “Wild Things: Foursome” got its name and its unrated status.

As things progress, the story (which, I will admit, is sort of clever as we figure out who said what, who is working with who and whether or not this guy or that girl is going to survive) unfolds and we learn more about the alcohol drenched, money hungry characters and their basically pathetic lives. If it weren’t for the countless women walking around naked or nearly naked, I’d probably have either fallen asleep or just given up on this one entirely. There’s some resolution in the end, but by that point, I couldn’t stomach the credits, and as any good reviewer will testify, real film buffs always stick around for those.

“Wild Things: Foursome” feels about as fake as the characters it puts on display. Director Andy Hurst played conductor over this orchestra that had every single instrument on a different music sheet, and as a result, the film leans on things that people really want to see (sex, alcohol excess, more sex, backstabbing, violence and betrayal) and omits things that people could care less about (a good script, deep characters and attention to detail).

Wait a second…reverse that. Aw, heck, never mind. It’s all relative, right? If so, there’s probably some out there who would find this junk worth watching. My hope is that population is small and isolated.

I was cautiously optimistic we might have seen an okay, maybe even decent, performance somewhere in “Wild Things: Foursome.” Alas, no one, be he or she a main or supporting character, is good or bad. They’re all horrific. Lines are delivered with little tone or emotion, and these individuals were clearly not picked for their acting skills. Rather, their bodies are toned, faces fresh and desire to be in film so high they didn’t stop to think whether or not this opportunity would be worth the long term damage. This sorry excuse for cinema proves that, sadly, the way you look can at times still take you further than having any real intelligence or something called a work ethic.

Thankfully, you don’t have to be a “Wild Things” buff to successfully take in this fourth installment. Feel free to jump in head first, but be warned, it is awful. Really, really awful.

Video:
You’d think a film set along the Florida coast would be bright, colorful and vivid, yes? No dice. “Wild Things: Foursome” looks as though the sun is bleaching its 1080p High Definition 1.85:1 video transfer. The image’s clarity has its moments, but as a whole the picture is drenched in sun to the point where you’ll reach for your own SPF 30. The sets are dressed averagely at best, but you wouldn’t know it because the darks essentially are drowned with natural sunlight. Would you be shocked to know that the clearest scenes are those where close-ups zero in on our four main characters going after each other, allowing you to take in their unparalleled beauty in an attempt to mask their miserable performances? This transfer brings shame to Blu-ray.

Audio:
Sound is clear enough, background noise has its place and the vocals come through fine. Audibly, there is everything from yelling to fighting to sex to gunshots to explosions in this one, so you’ll have lots to keep your ears perked. It comes through fine in the English 5.1 DTS-High Definition Master Audio soundtrack, though this is very far from special. The musical soundtrack selections by Steven Stern are often without vocals, allowing viewers to focus on the on-screen mischief instead. Subtitles are offered in English and French.

Extras:
Mercifully, there are no special features. I’ll allow you three guesses why, and the first two don’t count.

A Final Word:
Occasionally, watching a really bad movie helps me appreciate really good movies. “Wild Things: Foursome” is so bad that watching it just made me hate bad movies that much more. I found it degrading and insulting on multiple levels, and would recommend it to no one, whether or not the “Wild Things” series is your cup of tea. This one just plain hurts all the way through.

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