Ryne Walley’s review published on Letterboxd:
Rage Cage: RELOADED – A Reflection
Flick #7: "Wild at Heart"
Few filmmakers are able to capture the ferociously creative and erotically visceral as potently as David Lynch. His career has taken him to the far corners of cinematic experimentation as he plunges deep into the romantically dark and mangled depths of his own mind. Resting there, amongst the well known masterworks of his filmography such as "Blue Velvet" and "Mulholland Drive," is one of the more potentially underappreciated pictures of his, "Wild at Heart."
Like his other directorial endeavors, "Wild at Heart" is twisted Americana at its finest. The tale spun of roguish youths traveling cross-country in search of liberation is checkered with moments that belong in the neon caverns of the nearest jukebox. The integration of "The Wizard of Oz" only cements that this is the story of dreamers in a land where nothing is as it seems yet everything is seen. But what manages to separate "Wild at Heart" from other similar crime flicks is its viciousness. Even at 124 minutes, the film rockets by while sinking to some shocking and upsetting places that have little regard for your comfortability.
The direction is sturdy, the editing and cinematography are impeccable, and the cast is excellent. Nic Cage and Laura Dern have rocking chemistry as Sailor and Lula and damn near steal the whole show. They would've if it wasn't for Willem Dafoe's disturbing and menacing turn as Bobby Peru. He's nightmarish in every scene he inhabits, escalating the tension and grime of the story to new heights. Diane Ladd as Lula's mother is also excellent throughout.
What's to say other than that it's a great film. Well, actually, there's probably pages to say about "Wild at Heart." That's definitely for when many more viewings and readings have been completed, though. You could spin every element ten different ways and wind up at some distant and remote nugget of understanding and eccentricity.
"Did I ever tell ya that this here jacket represents a symbol of my individuality, and my belief in personal freedom?"