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Review: Wildfire (1988)

Directed by Zalman King | 94 minutes | drama | Actors: Steven Bauer, Linda Fiorentino, Will Patton, Marshall Bell, Richard Bradford, Sandra Seacat, Ken Thorley, Johnny Weissmuller Jr., Juan Fernández, Nancy Fish, Dennis Holahan, Dorothy Meyer, Iris Butler, Angelica Marden, Calvin Collins

Dear reader, Please pay attention to a short test: a.) Do you like to watch the Wednesday evening films on the commercial channels? b.) Can you enjoy the experiences that the Bouquet range offers you? c.) Have no trouble looking at sensitive, trained men with a wide jawline? d.) Do you see the ideal woman as a narcissistic being with the face of Linda Fiorentino? Okay. What is your result? If you answered “yes” to all questions, you will have a lot of fun with the TV movie “Wildfire”. However, if you enjoy intellectual challenges or flaming in your film, you can cross this production off your “to see” list. More about that later, first have a look at the story.

In “Wildfire” plays the young Kay. The girl grew up as an orphan. She goes through life alone and misunderstood, only orphaned boy Frank (Bauer) knows how she works. Of course, love also grows over the years. The mind then again not. Frank and Kay need money, but Frank has no intention of going to work. After a botched bank robbery, he is shot. When the stupid bank robber is on the street after eight years in prison, he goes looking for his Kay. However, the latter is married to Mike (Patton), a decent businessman with a jealous character. Kay has to choose between two worshipers. Well. What can you say about this movie? “Wildfire” is not an extremely bad film, but it is by no means high quality. For example, the image quality is appallingly bad. The looks pale and dated. That also applies to the music. You cannot take a soundtrack with a pan flute seriously. When you consider that every trifle, however small or trivial, can be heard the offending instrument, then you can imagine how annoying “Wildfire” can be at times.

Not only the soundtrack is poorly chosen. The acting also scores below par. Fiorentino can’t make the bitchy Kay seem likable. The young woman always looks grumpy and is always blessed with a gruff disposition. Director focuses on Kay’s emotional life. The young woman did not have an easy time and you are reminded of that throughout the film. Strangely enough, the characters of the passionate, loyal dog Frank and the unexpectedly violent Mike are not highlighted. What both men see in the stiff, closed Kay remains a mystery. Okay, Kay looks like Linda Fiorentino. A beautiful woman, but apart from external splendor, there is little to be gained from the cold diva.

The main problem with “Wildfire” is the bad script. By focusing so strongly on Kay, King loses sight of all other characters. The result has become a narcissistic ego trip, in which this time a woman is the center of attention. The fact that famous headlines such as Steven “Scarface” Bauer and Will “The Agency” Patton appear in this regional novel that has become flesh is the highlight of this well-intentioned film. The momentum is good and the plot twists (however ridiculous) are quite enjoyable. Melodrama junkies can indulge themselves in this video. Even if you’ve always wanted to read a copy of the Bouquet series, but never dared to stand at the till with such a pink booklet, then you can get a good picture of the genre with this film.

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