“It looks like I finally found someone who likes to play as rough as I do.”
When rock star Ellen Aim (Diane Lane) is kidnapped by the ruthless leader (Willem Dafoe) of a motorcycle gang, her ex-boyfriend (Michael Pare) and a female soldier (Amy Madigan) are hired to rescue her.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Diane Lane Films
- Rock ‘n Roll
- Walter Hill Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary is accurate but overly generous in his review of Walter Hill’s stylized rock-n-roll thriller-cum-western, which he argues is “a bit better than its reputation”. He notes that the film’s “unique look” (“part futuristic, part fiftyish, part Hollywood soundstage”), “exciting action sequences”, and “pounding rock score” (by Ry Cooder and others) compensate somewhat for its “familiar plot and intentionally skimpy dialogue” — but the film as a whole becomes increasingly tiresome after the initial excitement of its opening kidnapping sequence. Action-star Michael Pare couldn’t be more uncharismatic in the lead role, and Diane Lane — who does little more than “lip synch her songs” — is sadly miscast; one could care less about the cliched “romance” between them, complete with dramatic professions of love in a downpour. Meanwhile, creepy Dafoe — reminiscent of his later role as Max Schreck in Shadow of the Vampire (2000) — is the most compelling character in the film, but is given far too little screentime or narrative complexity. It’s no surprise this one became a “financial and critical bomb”.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Slick, colorful cinematography and art direction
- Willem Dafoe as Raven
- Ry Cooder et al.’s score
No; despite its small cult following, this one can easily be skipped.