Thursday, 21 August 2008

Wild Child Trailer and Review.

Well, we saw this last night and I've written my review but... unfortunately it's not up on Epinions yet (or at least I can't find it) so I can't post it there. However nothing's stopping me from posting it here, so here you go...

"Wild Child" Trailer

Wild Child Review

Wild Child is based on a very familiar theme in the movie world – a rebellious young woman (and yes, she’s lost one of her parents) needs to be straightened out, and is sent to a reputable institution for this to be done. She doesn’t fit in well at first, but in time she is not only accepted but also welcomed by her new peers – who learn something from her, just as she learns from them. The result is a heart-warming movie about friendship... etc. Well, it pretty much follows the standard pattern, but there are enough good bits along the way to make it worth watching.

The wild child on this occasion is Poppy (Emma Roberts), a spoilt brat living in Malibu who embodies everything annoying in teenage American girls (the movie abounds in stereotypes, but in an often amusing way). Driven to and over the edge of despair, her father (played by Aidan Quinn) sends her to a boarding school in England. Yes indeed, the land of 200+ days of rain per year, and the stereotypical perception of stiff upper-lippedness and perpetual grey boredom. How will Poppy cope without regular calls to her therapist?

Despite a sluggish start and an obsession with mild/moderate obscenities at times, thanks to a decent script (Lucy Dahl – daughter of the legendary children’s author Roald Dahl) and a bright, lively cast, Wild Child remains moderately entertaining throughout. It’s certainly nothing groundbreaking and aims heavily at its target audience of pre-teen / early teen girls, but for everyone else there’s just about enough humour to make it worth watching. A couple of potentially interesting storyline threads are wasted – for instance Polly’s relationship with her younger sister Molly is completely unexplored, and Polly’s realisation (made late in the film) about how the history of the school ties in with her family history fell flat because I’d assumed all along that she knew from the beginning (my wife was of the same opinion, so it wasn’t just me!). Basically it’s about a rebel realising that she doesn’t need to be a rebel, will be happier if she conforms just a little, remains true to herself and doesn’t get on everyone’s nerves just for the sake of it, etc... we’ve seen it a thousand times before, sometimes handled better, sometimes worse. The music score is pretty decent and fits in well with the movie’s mood.

There are a few important sub-plots that help to keep this interesting – Polly’s immediate rivalry with head girl Harriet (Georgina King, who portrays the insecure bully character very well) and the love triangle this creates with the Headmistress’ son Freddie (Alex Pettyfer – who doesn’t have to do much apart from be suave and handsome - and his comic timing is excellent). The headmistress (Natasha Richardson) really wants Polly to do well, but is exasperated by her misbehaviour. Still, she remains a believable character that we can like, even if her tolerance levels seem a little too unrealistic at times. Emma Roberts acquits herself well in the main role – she is thoroughly loathsome at first, but manages to have us rooting for her by the end.

Wild Child has been described as “Clueless meets St Trinians” – not sure who by, but whoever it was, they got it spot on. It doesn’t have the slickness of the former or the pure mischievousness of the latter, but in it;s own right it’s still a reasonably good film. Naturally it’s far more recommend for girls under 15 than anyone else. (I wasn’t sure about watching it, but seeing how Emma Roberts’ career was progressing just tipped the balance enough to make me want to.) I have to admit though, watching a girls’ lacrosse team perform the Haka (the tribal war dance thingy that the All Blacks [New Zealand Rugby Union side] do before matches) was quite scarily hilarious.

Rated 12A (UK) PG-13 (US) for some coarse and suggestive content, sex references and language - all involving teens. Nothing terribly shocking, but most of it rather unnecessary (if perhaps realistic).

Related Movies

  • Emma Roberts also put in a fine performance in Nancy Drew
  • More girls behaving badly can be found in St Trinians (2007 version)

CaptainD - Movie Reviews Blog


Vera said...

I've been interested in seeing this because I'm an Alex Pettyfer fan. Glad to hear that he acquits himself well. This hasn't been released in the USA yet, so I haven't seen it, but your review pretty much matches my perceptions of it. I don't understand why most reviewers think everything is either the best thing ever or the the worst thing they've ever seen and there's no in-between. Your review is nicely balanced in that respect.

CaptainD said...

Hey Vera!

Glad I got the balance right - this time at least!! (See the comments on my Attack of the Clones review! :-D)

This is definitely a film you can enjoy as long as you don't expect it to be brilliant.

Anonymous said...

when they are doing the hakka so you no what the song is called it is also played when the credits are rolled its lyk rap metal but i havent been able to find out what it is and its not on the sound track ?? can u help

CaptainD said...

Hi there

Can't find the particular song, but follow this link for the complete song listing - you're not the first person to ask this question! (Unless that was you on Yahoo Answers as well!!)

Hopefully you'll recognise which one... I don't remember unfortunately.