One of my top 10 of my personal top 250, I have watched this film about 20 times since 1995. What I enjoy most is how the film shows
how children worship what is "cool", as Joseph Mazzello's "Roarke" demonstrates early on in his adoration of Kevin Bacon's character,
and at the same time finds his father (David Strathairn) disappointing, since he is a workaholic and often fails to follow through on events
in his kids lives. But as a result of the rafting trip, he learns that sometimes the less exciting one is really the one who ultimately loves
him and risks his own life to save his family, when the chips are down. One reviewer on IMDB liked the film until Mazzello, at the end
of the film says to the ranger when asked about what his father did says resolutely' "He saved our lives!". Said reviewer thought this was
stupid in relation to the events of the film. In my view, this was the most emotional moment of the film, showing the important lesson he
learned about life from this experience. He went from shaming his father to respect, love, and understanding. Great literature as well as
great films show little cues early that may seem irrelevant, only to be explained or revisited late in the story to be extremely revealing.
Some reviewers look for flaws, which like most films, this may well have. But as an entertainment with tension and emotional power,
this movie is totally satisfying.