Tuesday, 21 January 2014
Streets of Fire (1984)
Walter Hill once said 'Every film I've done has been a Western'. That's certainly true of the wonderfully entertaining Streets of Fire, a film in which I could definitely see a young John Wayne having the lead role. This 1984 offering merges then-contemporary culture with 1950s bobby soxers, over the top action sequences with musical numbers, and hyper-stylised dialogue with a plot that's been pared down to the bone. I loved almost every second of it. I'm very sad that the planned sequels never happened: the film was a commercial failure at the time of its release. Sad, but not surprising. This is a movie with a very distinctive, non-standard look and feel and if you like naturalistic dialogue and acting you're going to have issues with it.
Rock diva Ellen Aim is kidnapped by biker gang 'The Bombers', who as a group look like they came straight out of The Wanderers. Ellen's former flame Tom Cody is summoned back to town to rescue her. Tom's as tough as they come, albeit a bit of a douche, and - along with Ellen's manager and a tough as nails, two fisted sidekick - sets out to do just that. People get beaten up, things explode all over the place at the slightest provocation, there are many scenes very reminiscent of Hill's earlier film The Warriors, and we cap things off with a big rock and roll number. As you do.
Look, just see it. You may love it like I did or hate it and think its failure was hugely deserved, but I doubt you'll be ambivalent about it.