Wilderness

Wilderness

I was rather hoping Wilderness, the new UK thriller with Jenna Coleman an Oliver Jackson-Cohen, might be a bit of popcorn fun.

After all some Brits plummeted into the harsh vistas of America conjures up all kinds of vicious possibilities.. reptiles, arachnids, wild animals, weather.

The good news is the scenery is here. The bad news is the script isn’t really….

The six part series, based on the novel of the same name by B. E. Jones, paints a perfect picture of divine couple Liv (Coleman), a journalist who has given up her career to follow new husband Will (Jackson-Cohen), an events manager in his new job in the USA.

Her move, which will hopefully give her time to write that novel she’s been meaning to pen, is against the advice of her brusque mother (Claire Rushbrook) who is suspicious of all men since her own marriage failures.

But Liv is determined not to become her mother, an is hopelessly devoted and trusting= at least until she discovers a suspicious text on Will’s phone. Uh oh. Suddenly her world is turned inside out, especially when Will tries to pass it off as a one night mistake.

“Thank you for being honest. Now get out!” she demands.

Set-up neatly done, the saga shifts into a revenge tale worthy of a pulp fiction novel or high class melodrama. So incensed is Liv that she begins to concoct scenes of murder that might rival Final Destination.

It’s about here that logic is diminishing, as our journalist heroine agrees to take Will back in order to take a road trip just to exact her revenge.

But the credibility is directly linked to the sympathy one can retain for a woman scorned. If she continues to make dumb decisions does she deserve my sympathy as a viewer? And given Will is, frankly, a jerk, should she even bother?

It’s only due to Jenna Coleman that I’m here, even if I’m convinced she is affecting an even more-British accent than usual.

On the road trip they stumble upon Cara (Ashley Benson), who just happens to be Will’s secret affair, and her partner Garth (Eric Balfour). Cozy couple time in the woods ensues as Liv continues her sinister Fatal Attraction revenge.

There are also flashbacks which suggest Liv has been manipulating everybody for her own grand plans, but it’s not particularly fulfilling, raising for me more scepticism around her clear-thinking, or lack thereof.

The road trip also seems to span at least the Grand Canyon to Banff Springs Hotel, which is quite a distance and a lot of absent screen time in between.

It’s all a tad disatisfying given the ample skills of Jenna Coleman available to director So Yong Kim. On the other hand you could just lose yourself in the trashy, overwrought nonsense of it all, accompanied by Taylor Swift songs. Which I suspect speaks to where this one is ultimately pitched.

Wilderness is now screening on Prime Video.