After roles in WOUNDED and HUNTED (1998), Madchen Amick seems to have cornered the market in vulnerable heroines being stalked in the wilderness. Why would this stylish actress appear in one rip-off of THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME (1932), let alone two? High heels suit her better than hiking
boots. The film premiered on HBO, and was subsequently released on home video.
Can animal conservationist Julie Clayton (Madchen Amick) and her partner/boyfriend Don Powell (Richard Joseph Paul) head off the critter-poaching problem in their once-idyllic forest? Flanked by federal agents, Julie and Don, nonetheless, find themselves outsmarted by outlaw poacher Hanaghan
(Adrian Pasdar), who provides grizzly bear organs for organ-trafficker Mr. Lee (Francois Chau).
One by one, the agents fall victim to diabolical Hanaghan's deadly booby traps. Promising Julie he will spare Don if she drops her gun, duplicitous Hanaghan guts Don and shoots her twice, but rescuers later save her. When he discovers she has survived, Hanaghan travels to the city to eliminate
Julie and to threaten Mr. Lee, who is seeking immunity by cooperating with the Feds. Hanaghan eludes the agents long enough to torture and kill Lee.
Trailing Julie to the home of FBI agent Rollins (Graham Greene) who is guarding her, Hanaghan eviscerates Rollins. As a result of the arrival of other agents, Hanaghan is unable to kill Julie. Refusing to be intimidated by Hanaghan any longer, Julie returns to her work in the forest. Deciding to
play by Hanaghan's kill-or-be-killed rules, Julie conceals her gun and allows him to track her. Toppling with him into the river, Julie pretends to drown and then shoots Hanaghan when he climbs back onto the river bank.
There's something inherently silly about Madchen Amick tip-toeing through the fearsome woods in camouflage makeup like a model for the J. Peterman Catalogue of Wilderness Fashions. Is WOUNDED scary? No, because its victims are sitting ducks. Is the atmosphere even mildly creepy as madman Hanaghan
stalks his human prey? No, because the cinematography and direction don't even attempt to use screen space to create tension. What does that leave? Just another run-of-the-forest action pic with a few low-impact thrills. Wallowing in mindless brutality, WOUNDED reminds us of how escapist
entertainment has been devalued since 1932's version of THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME. (Graphic violence, profanity, adult situations.)
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