The story of a shy boy who gets convinced by his parents to spend a few summer days in the mountains. So, he joins a group, and the vacation begins. Unfortunately, things turn out to be a little tough for our small friend.
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An experienced guide (Vic) accompanies a city boy (Alan) and his three friends on their first wilderness experience. Hoping to teach the four boys lessons not only about the wilderness, but about themselves, Vic pushes them to the limit. Soon after alienating the boys, Vic finds himself in desperate need of help and must rely on his students in order to survive.Written by
Wayne Coleman <email@example.com>
Teenage campers and their psychotic New Age counselor roughing it in the mountains.
I used to love White Water Summer, but these days, when I pop the old copy into the VCR, I just can't seem to get through the whole thing without getting annoyed.
White Water Summer is about Alan's summer camp experience in the mountains with four other boys and Vic (Kevin Bacon), their psychotic New Age camp counselor who's wacky methods are supposed to teach the boys about real living. The story is told in flashback format, narrated by a much older Astin (who plays Alan, young and old) revisiting the those couple of days or weeks in the mountains. I suspect they took a break in filming, probably as Astin and others worked on other projects, knowing that pre-peubescent Astin would grow quickly and fill the shoes of the movie's older, wiser teen.
Alan is recruited by some nut named Vic, a guy who actually hikes to his family's home in the city. Alan, the little whiner that he is, doesn't really want to spend the summer with a bunch of boys, but reluctantly agrees, pretending to share his father's enthusiasm in the whole idea. On the trip with Alan is Mitch (Jonathan Ward), probably Alan's only friend along the way, and two smart ass jerks, Chris (Matt Adler) and George (K.C. Martel). They each have their various learning experiences hiking in and around the mountains. But, things get out of hand along the way when Vic pulls some nasty business on his recruits, and Alan starts to suspect Vic is way out of line. Unfortunately, he's got to grow up and start taking care of things himself, because he's the only one willing to stand up to Vic.
This movie has a lot of good things going for it. The photography is really beautiful, filmed mostly in New Zealand locations. The music is pretty good too, with ample sounds from the Cult, Bruce Hornsby, and the Cutting Crew (whad'ya know, they did have more songs thatn I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight).
The big draw maybe the cast, with the obvious audience appeals of Astin, Bacon, and possibly Matt Adler. Unfortunately, it is one of the few things you'll be able to see both Jonathan Ward or K.C. Martel in. Ward was on the later seasons of Charels and Charge, appeared in Mac & Me (an E.T. ripoff), but never really did much. Martel, who was George in E.T., goes on to appear in a few things, mostly later episodes of Growing Pains in which he plays Mike Seaver's friend, Eddie. It's worth a try. It can always suffice as a lazy day kind of movie.
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