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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Wait, was that the future? Or the past? Or the Café 50s even Elijah
Wood wouldn't play baby games in?
Admittedly, in this terrible movie, I loved the music! I know, sooo 80s, but sometimes didn't sound like it. Or maybe I'm just an old-timer. Eh, it was good music in a bad film.
At the four-way intersection of Streets of Fire are the four worst aspects of this "movie:" bad acting, horrifying script, shoddy editing and laughable scene transitions. In the middle of the intersection are the WTF moments, like the male/female go-go dancer, the "Oh, I guess they blew a tire" missing scene or the sucker punch to safety. The only pedestrian is the one that creepily stares at his ex on stage for an incredibly long time.
Actually, though I just ruined a part of the "climax," that's a common theme during this: so many very long segments that either made zero sense or should've been cut all together. One of the funniest was the over long rescue of the princess chapter that ends with the "good" guys getting away for-evah always worrying about being followed. In normal movies, or I guess in life, yeah they would be easily followed. Nope.
Some rogue ex-military dude is hired to save his thankless ex from unmotivated non-gay, gay kidnappers in leather chaps. When he does save the soulless singer ex-girlfriend, the Queen B(iker) merely threatens to come get him, but I guess in a civilized way? He/she needn't worry about the round-the-clock, 2-person police force that wouldn't know the law if it were written on the cue cards they obviously used.
There's barely a character to cling to, or anyone with an ounce of charisma sans the non-lesbian, lesbian McCoy. She's pretty badass. Everyone else was there for a paycheck. Lucky for them, most of their careers weren't affected by this rubbish.
I am divided if I should recommend this. On the positive, (again) the music's great and there are so many outrageous scenes that it almost qualifies this as a So-Bad-It's-Good flick. But, flipping the coin, it's a lazy "action" movie that has no clue what decade it's in and feels like a 2-hour film with a half-hour of crucial plot points cut out.
I know! Just YouTube (or buy, you cheap bastard) the soundtrack. You'll hear all the good songs without the crap these filmmakers put in-between the music.
Final thoughts: I only watched this for that great How Did This Get Made? podcast where they talk about bad movies usually for about as long as the movie itself. I don't think I ever even heard of this movie and spent most of the movie staring at the singer of the story, Ellen Aim(less) and trying to picture the Diane Lane I know of from more modern and better films, like Under the Tuscan Sun and Man of Steel. Weird to see her not at all looking like her.
Streets Of Fire is a unique, stylish and action packed rock n' roll movie. Anti hero Tom Cody, ex-soldier and rough and tumble outlaw comes home to rescue his ex girlfriend who has been kidnapped by the leader of a notorious motorcycle gang The Bombers. The much underrated Michael Pare' gives an excellent and tough performance in this film. It is a surprise he is not a bigger star. The leader of The Bombers, Raven is Willem Dafoe and this is his first role in a major Hollywood production. Of course, he is excellent. As is the support cast of damsel in distress Diane Lane, her promoter boyfriend Rick Moranis, tough ex-soldier chick Amy Madigan, Bill Paxton, as well as punk rock icon and legendary singer for Fear, Lee Ving as main heavy and Raven's right hand man. Unfortunate that Streets Of Fire did not set the box office on fire as this was meant to be the first installment of a trilogy of films. However, this is a solid and original movie that gained an audience and cult status later. Writer, director and producer Walter Hill makes top quality productions and Streets Of Fire is a great film in my book.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When a beautiful rock-and-roll star by the name of "Ellen Aim" (Diane Lane) is kidnapped by a motorcycle gang led by "Raven" (Willem Dafoe) it results the return of Ellen's old boyfriend "Tom Cody" (Michael Pare) to attempt to rescue her. But in order to do that he will need to go into "the Battery" and take her back by force. And he will definitely need some help. Anyway, this is a unique movie that is set in an alternate reality combining a 50's urban backdrop with late-70's music which, strangely enough, seemed to fit very well together. Same thing with the attitude displayed by Raven,Tom and his associate "McCoy" (Amy Madigan). I especially enjoyed the banter between McCoy and Ellen's manager, "Billy Fish" (Rick Moranis). Priceless. Likewise, the music featured by "the Sorels" and both performances by Ellen Aim was simply outstanding. That said, while the plot is rather simple and straight-forward, I firmly believe that in order to really enjoy this film it requires a person to use their imagination and totally disregard reality. In any case, this is one of those film that I have seen several times and I never seem to get tired of watching. Above average.
This film just showed up on Netflix streaming recently and remembering
it fondly from my own teen years seeing it on the big screen I decided
to give it a watch again. I'd forgotten how incredibly entertaining a
big screen spectacle it is with beautiful set design and outstanding
musical numbers. I'm glad seeing the reviews that there are many who
love this film as I do. Sure the actors and roles are massively
clichéd, they are meant to be, who cares. The film casts a spell with
imagery, music and attitude and takes you to its own unique place.
Diane Lane, who was entering a period of being Hollywood's "It" girl for a while, is worth the price of admission all by herself.
Another stylish middle-budgeted macho movie from a Director who
entertains with a visual flare that evokes Pulp and Comic Book
aesthetics and an ear for the music and the action of the streets
painted with neon and littered with glitter.
What makes this film so successful is its ability to incorporate cinema music with renditions imitating real life music. The eighties and fifties, radio friendly Techno and Rockabilly with a dash of Doo-wop are presented here with authenticity lacking in most Hollywood tries at this problematic presentation.
There is surrealism to burn with an energy of enthusiasm that is persistent in all of the Director's work. A real auteur with a passion for pictures that are highly entertaining and never boring. An under rated Cultist who makes films that tickle the spine.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
PLOT: Sexy rock & roll singer Ellen Aim (Diane Lane) is kidnapped by a
blood thirsty gang of bikers, the Bombers (led by Willem Dafoe). Her
ex-boyfriend, tough guy Tom Cody (Michael Pare of "Eddie & The
Cruisers") is summoned to rescue her and, by extension, the nameless
retro 50s-meets-80s city being torn apart by the Bombers. Tom's only
help - Billy Fish (Rick Moranis), Ellen's mean spirited jerk of a
manager/current boyfriend, and a mouthy ex-soldier named McCoy (Amy
With its title inspired by a Bruce Springsteen song, "Streets of Fire" was meant to be the first in a trilogy of films based around the character of Tom Cody, whom director Walter Hill had apparently hoped to mold into the Man With No Name for the 1980s. Unfortunately, released in the same year that saw such blockbuster hits as Beverly Hills Cop, Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom, and Ghostbusters, "Streets of Fire" received very little attention from audiences, and was apparently not well liked by critics either, and did poorly at the box office. In the long run, Diane Lane eventually rebounded and has been especially popular in more recent years, while pretty much all the supporting cast members (including Bill Paxton) continued to work steadily over the years. Sadly, the film's leading man, Michael Pare, never rebounded and spent most of his career making low grade B-pictures. A tragic waste of a fine actor who could have been a star.
As for the film itself, it's very entertaining in a style over substance sort of way. The plot is paper thin and so are pretty much all the characters (Tom Cody definitely doesn't have the same compelling aura around him that mystery man Eddie Wilson, Paren's character of "Eddie & The Cruisers" had; presumably he would evolved as a character had there been sequels, but that of course did not happen), but the stylish atmosphere, engaging action scenes and pulsating soundtrack are the real stars of the film, and there's a prevalent tongue-in-cheek sense of humor that suggests the film is meant to be a parody of itself anyway.
Overall, a solid 7. Even if you don't buy the movie, you should at least buy the soundtrack.
When this movie came out, Walter Hill was a recognized action film
director worthy of respect. However, Jim Steinman was not so cool. He
was the guy behind Meat Loaf, who carried the stigma of rock buffoon.
How could we have coolnesss with both?
Yet, the moment in this movie that Diane Lane (or dubbed) sings Steinman's "Nowhere fast," it was clear this was a true rock and roll movie. And it is. It truly rocks.
I have a few beefs. Mostly that the motorcycle club seems kind of lame. And the final duel has the very frightening weapons of ... sledgehammers? Really? Two guys swinging sledgehammers at each other? Get out of the way, dude!
Yet, the energy in this movie is awesome. It is definitely a Walter Hill movie. And that's a brand name you can trust.
I get it, "Streets of Fire" doesn't have the best acting, in fact, to be perfectly honest, most of the acting sucks, bad. It's not a very realistic movie either (one shot blows up a cycle?). You need to learn to deal with it, the movie wasn't made to win Oscars, it was made to be fun, and in that area, it succeeds. I loved the movie, plain and tall. The music is great, and while the story is in some ways VERY reminicant of another Walter Hill film, The Warriors, it deffinitaly does the story with its own style, one that isn't less, just different. Give the movie a try, then give it some thought. see through the faults and realize the movie for what it was meant to be; an escape, a VERY fun one at that.
This is one of my all time favorite movies. It must be taken for what it is - a tongue in cheek fantasy. The cinematography is excellent and the sound track is fantastic. Lots of music and action, and the setting is dark.
A rock'n'roll fable. That's how "Streets of Fire" starts, with the
Ellen Aim (Diane Lane) in a concert, playing the 80's classic "Nowhere
Fast". Soon she'll be kidnapped by Raven (Willem Dafoe), the leader of an
Her lover and manager, Billy Fish (Rick Moranis) needs the help of her ex-boyfriend, the outlaw Tom Cody (Michael Pare), a rebel without a cause. Cody goes to his quest with McCoy (Amy Madigan), a lesbian-like soldier that needs money.
And then we have a bunch of great action scenes, fights and rock songs to create the scenario for rebels and lovers. Of course Cody and Ellen will have a "love affair revival", but what choices will they made after that?
Michael Pare follows the "Keanu Reeves Way of Acting", with just one expression all over the movie, but Diane Lane (a sex symbol), Amy Madigan and Rick Moranis (not funny here) are just perfect.
Walter Hill makes his tribute to the 60's youth movies, adds Ry Cooder's rock and blues, tells the story like a comic book and with a beautiful cinematography does one of the most underrated movies of the decade.
Someone could make a sequel. I wanna see Ellen Aim singing again!
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