Taken, Western Style
After his son is taken in an attack by Apaches, Mexican Fernando Huerta (Jorge Molina) offers payment to those who will try and rescue him. This brings together struggling photographer Ned (Brian Austin Green), rich slacker Tolley (Matthew Edison), valet Mr. Browning (Andrew Gillies) and anthropologist Margaret (Kathleen Munroe) who along with Indian scouts Joseph (Graham Greene) and his grandson Albert (Gregory 'Dominic' Odjig) are part of the rescue group. When Ned discovers an unconscious Apache girl named Chideh (Lola Tash) this small group breaks off from the main group to try and trade her for Fernando's son but leads to a surprising encounter with the angry Apaches.
Once upon a time John Wayne starred as Ethan Edwards in "The Searchers" a movie which was about a young girl taken by Indians and Ethan's arduous trek to find her. That storyline of Indian's taking a white girl, woman or boy has been done quite a few times and when you compare them none come close to "The Searchers". One which gets absolutely no where close is "The Wild Girl" one of the dullest modern westerns I have watched which feels like it goes through the motions but only just. The fact that "The Wild Girl" is a TV movie is not the issue but the lack lustre storyline, uninteresting characters and drama combined with over romanticized dialogue makes it poor.
So the first of the many issues is that "The Wild Girl" is so unoriginal that it is dull; in fact if there was another layer beyond dull it would be that. We may have this diverse group of people from a photographer to an anthropologist hitting the trail but what happens in this story is so predictable it is hard not to either drift off or switch off. Even when we to the inevitable dramatic climax, which sees a fight break out, it does little too make what we watch any more interesting.
Talking of that fight that is another issue with "The Wild Girl" as with the exception of an Indian ambush at the start and some small action at the end there is nothing. That means we have this diverse group travelling a few miles by horse, setting up camp and something is said, usually Tolley being a rich arse and then it repeats. Even the unsurprisingly romantic aspects of "The Wild Girl" are dull and just as predictable as the main storyline which makes it a slog to get through.
There is though one small positive and it is a character, that of Ned because here we have a guy who suffers from a lack of self belief, he sees the beautiful Margaret but shakes his head because he thinks she is out of his league. It is the one positive which can be taken from "The Wild Girl" because beyond that the other characters and the acting are at best just average even from Graham Greene who seems to be going through the motions as Indian Scout Joseph.
What this all boils down to is that "The Wild Girl" is dull, it is predictable and boring with not enough pace, drama or action to really command your attention. Even as a semi romanticized vision of the West it is not that romantic and so unless you are really in the mood for something very simple I would say give it a miss.