"White Water Summer" cannot be accused of being a great film. It's got its silly moments, unbelievable moments, and downright psychotic moments. My wife first introduced me to this film a few years ago and ever since that time, I've never been able to pass it up when it's on the satellite. It's just fun to watch and reminds me of a cool time in my life (that being the 80's).
It stars a young Kevin Bacon and an even younger Sean Astin. Both are excellent in their roles. Bacon must have been studying up for his future psychotic role in "The River Wild" with this film. He plays Vic, a not-all-there, hopefully well-meaning but very unlikeable camp guide who takes Astin and three other city kids into the wild in order to teach them about themselves. The supporting cast is headed up by Matt Adler ("Teen Wolf," among other 80's classics), K.C. Martel (best known as one of Kirk Cameron's buds on "Growing Pains," and Jonathan Ward ("Steel Magnolias" and "Charles In Charge"). Although all three of these guys are recognizable, they've almost always played supporting characters.
The story, as stated previously, is about Vic taking four city boys on an adventure in the wilderness. Astin narrates this tale about becoming a man over the summer. Bacon's character is hard to place. At first, he comes across as a "tough love" advocate, but then he becomes a wee bit crazy. Almost immediately the other boys separate themselves from Astin, with Ward sometimes sticking up for him. In the end, however, all of them have to come together in order to save Bacon's life.
The film has a great 80's soundtrack featuring Journey, Cutting Crew, and other rockers from the decade of excess.
Overall, not the greatest film around, but it does fit the bill as a nostalgic tale sure to bring back wonderful memories. Parents should be warned that there is a lot of bad language in this flick. Astin even drops an "F" bomb, so be sure to monitor any kids with you. I'm sure this film would have gotten a PG-13 rating had it come out just a few years later.
Recommended to fans of old 80's flicks who still remember watching some of these films when they were young.