May 27, 2024
Wilderness Review: Amazon's Adultery Thriller Is Both Too and Not Enough Junky

Wilderness Review: Amazon's Adultery Thriller Is Both Too and Not Enough Junky

Wilderness Review: Jenna Coleman and Oliver Jackson-Cohen depict a couple whose marriage and road trip are derailed by adultery and a catchy Taylor Swift song.


 Friday, September 15 (Amazon)


Jenna Coleman, Ashley Benson, Oliver Jackson-Cohen Eric Balfour, Claire Rushbrook


 Marnie Dickens, from the novel by B.E. Jones


Trashy-fun at first, then trashy-dull.

The opening shot of Amazon’s Wilderness shows a massively big spider, possibly a black widow for thematic reasons, though I’m not a specialist on arachnids, gingerly starting to cross a stretch of asphalt heading out to a spectacular Southwestern vista.

We’ll never find out because the powder-blue vintage Ford Mustang driving Liv (Jenna Coleman) and Will (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) squashes the spider in less than two seconds. Don’t worry, members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Spiders, it’s obviously CGI. – Wilderness Review

Reader, I chuckled. Hard. I decided to examine this six-episode B.E. Jones adaptation in part because of the opening five seconds, which hinted at something appealingly pulpy and goofy, possibly in a good way.

And what about that? Wilderness gets close to being the program I wanted it to be for maybe three episodes. Although it’s doubtful that it’s “good,” Coleman, who always acts with a sly gleam in her cosmically expressive eyes, is a big part of why it’s unpredictable and bluntly hilarious.

Unfortunately, the second half of the season devolves into a muck of overused genre clichés, only surprising when it violates even the most basic logic. From an excellent Lifetime movie to a terrible Lifetime movie that thinks it’s commenting on the cliches of Lifetime movies but doesn’t realize that the good Lifetime movies are already doing that, Wilderness moves from being light on its feet to being fairly leaden.

Anyway, let’s get back to Liv and Will zooming across Monument Valley and stomping on spiders. They are incredibly beautiful, incredibly British, and incredibly joyful.

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