Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Wraith

The Wraith is a 1986 film about a small desert town that is being terrorized by a gang of drag racers, and the thing that comes looking to stop them . Its a revenge  film that is full of fast races, as well as great action and thrills. The Wraith stars Charlie Sheen, Randy Quaid, Sherilyn Fenn and Nick Cassavetes.

The revenge angle had been done in films before this one, and many times since. Here there was a different element, the mystery of who the person was behind the wheel of the car that was killing the gang members. While it was easy to guess early on, not that it was a huge surprise, the reveal was no less spectacular than it was meant to be. The film did have a good story all in all, and seeing these guys get what they had coming to them was satisfying as hell.

The acting in the film was mixed to say the least, but given that this was some of the actors first big film, or very early in their career, I'm going to give it a pass. Charlie Sheen did a great job with his role and was good at keeping people guessing. Sherilyn Fenn was good considering this was her first role in a big film, she did a decent job of showing the emotional stress of the situation she was in. Nick Cassavetes was great as the villain of the film, Packard Walsh. He was intimidating and creepy at times, but also had some funny lines with good delivery. By far my favorite performance in the film was Randy Quaid as Sheriff Loomis . It's unusual to see him playing a serious character, and he is as good at it as he is at a more comedic one.

The music of the film is an interesting case. The director wanted to go with an entirely different soundtrack for the film, but the studio wanted the music that ended up being in the final version in the film. This is a rare occasion where I actually have to side with the studio, the music in the film is outstanding and really pumps up the energy level of the film. The soundtrack included songs from popular artists of the time such as Ozzy Osbourne, Lion, Stan Bush, Billy Idol and Robert Palmer.

The Wraith isn't some overly complex revenge tail with a ton of plot twists, it's actually a fairly straightforward film. There are a few things that were not explained in the movie, such as the pieces of the suit that fall off and vanish, but it didn't hurt my enjoyment of the film. The film has some excellent car chases I've ever seen and an energy level that keeps going up as the film rolls on.

Verdict: Definitely check it out if you like action or revenge films.


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