Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Streets of Fire (1984)

"Custom cars, kissing in the rain. Neon, trains in the night. High speed pursuit, rumbles. Rock stars, motorcycles, jokes in tough situations. Leather jackets and questions of honour" - Walter Hill.

I loved this film back in the eighties and thought I'd buy the blu-ray hoping that the unique feel of the film hadn't been distilled by time. Nope. It starts as it means to go on with music, neon lights reflected on rain-puddled streets and cartoon violence.

There's only one scene that jars and that's the Sorels' penultimate doo-wop number. The music just didn't fit with the Steinman's anthemic bookending numbers or the rawer rock n roll of the Blasters and Ry Cooder's incidental music.

Loved Cody's rifle that thinks it's a rocket-launcher, loved the punch in the train, the bikes, the girls, the coat. I even loved the weird suspender leather trousers that Dafoe wears. And the bikes! Real, proper dirty looking motorcycles that actually look like they're ridden by hardcore bikers that would stomp you first and ask questions later and not chrome coated, leather-fringed, garbage wagons.

And yes I was singing along with Ellen at the end - "This is what it means to be young" sung by a near 50 year old may be absurd but then this is Streets of Fire; an absurd film that I love dearly.

Original letterboxd review

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