Wild Orchid (1990) starring Mickey Rourke, Carré Otis, Jacqueline Bisset, Assumpta Serna, Bruce Greenwood, Oleg Vidov, Milton Gonçalves directed by Zalman King Movie Review

Wild Orchid (1990)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Mickey Rourke and Carré Otis in Wild Orchid

Rourke goes Wild for Otis

Were they really having sex or are they just brilliant actors, is the sort of question which arises when you watch "Wild Orchid" a movie notorious for the sex scene between Mickey Rourke and Carré Otis. Well that particular sex scene in "Wild Orchid", and there are a few, looks pretty convincing to me and as you would expect for such a realistic scene it borders on being soft porn with its explicit nature. And that is probably quite a good way to describe "Wild Orchid" as it feels more like soft porn masquerading as a movie; a movie which discard the sex scenes is utterly pointless and very artsy fartsy.

Having just been employed by a law firm, Emily (Jacqueline Bisset - Class) finds herself heading straight down to Rio with her boss Claudia (Jacqueline Bisset - Class) to finalise a real estate negotiation. When Claudia has to rush off, the naive and innocent Emily is left in the hands of millionaire James Wheeler (Mickey Rourke - Nine 1/2 Weeks) who wines and dines her. But at the same time he shows her the other side of Rio where the sexual abandon she witnesses intrigues her.

Mickey Rourke as James Wheeler in Wild Orchid

What I am sure "Wild Orchid" wanted to be was an erotic thriller, sexy edge of your seat stuff but frankly strip away all the eroticism and what is left is not very thrilling. The story revolves around the unusual relationship which forms between naive lawyer Emily and millionaire James as he wines and dines her leading her into the sexual underworld of Rio. The thing is that the actual storyline seems to be pointless, especially when it comes to the whole premise of her being a lawyer looking after an estate purchase. And being pointless any attempt to give it any mystery is superfluous and rather daft.

With the storyline being ultimately pointless and less than thrilling it means that "Wild Orchid" works on an erotic level. And that erotic level is basically Emily being shown the other side to Rio where she sees people having sex on a construction site, masquerade parties where it's all about sex and of course eventually ending up having sex with James which gives us the notorious realistic sex scene between Mickey Rourke and Carré Otis. Now all these sex scenes, and there are many, are very artsy fartsy with imaginative use of lighting, slow motion and cascading water to make them seem more than what they are but which ever way you look at it they are more like soft porn than being art. Now watching "Wild Orchid" as purely eroticism it does what is sets out to do and that is to be arousing but it's not in the least bit entertaining. And it's not entertaining because between all these sex scenes there is no real story and a lot of terrible dialogue.

Funnily whilst pretty much every performance disappoints from Carré Otis's attempts at being naive through to Jacqueline Bisset as her boss Claudia Dennis I actually enjoyed Mickey Rourke as James. In a way it feels like James is an extension of what Mickey Rourke delivered in "Nine 1/2 Weeks" with him being manipulative and risque. It makes him at least a bit interesting as you are never quite sure what he will do next, such as in the scene where he gets a troubled husband and wife to have sex in a limo they are sharing. But whilst I enjoyed his performance it also felt at times like there wasn't really a defined character rather Rourke just enjoying the risque nature of the movie.

What this all boils down to is that "Wild Orchid" is in fact a bad movie which really doesn't have much of a storyline, has plenty of terrible dialogue and thrives on being erotic. As such it's not very entertaining but watched purely for eroticism it is arousing. And for a movie so devoid of anything really special it is a movie which is known purely for whether or not Mickey Rourke and Carré Otis really did have sex in the movies most memorable sex scene.