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At the start of his senior year in high school, Morgan's father has lost his company, so the family moves from Connecticut, where they've been in the yacht club, to an apartment in the San Fernando Valley. Morgan has grown up in the shadow of his high-achieving older brother, and he seems to have a knack for getting into trouble. He also has a stubborn streak, so when he finds himself attracted to Frankie, the girlfriend of the leader of a local gang of youthful thugs, he can't stop himself from pushing her for a relationship. The thug thinks of Frankie as his property and sees the cool, urbane Morgan as dead meat. Is this a struggle to the death? Written by
Robert Downey Jr. AND James Spader? This could be a total turkey and I'd still watch it.
The performance of both is excellent, but that's no surprise. You get to see the formation of some of their respective trademark mannerisms.
Overall: strange plot, seems to sit between genres, starts off as a sort of High School rom-com but quickly descends into a rough teen thriller, with two major and totally random music numbers in the first part, both of which are arse-numbingly boring and ludicrous.
Having said that - James Spader's singing is nice - he's got a good voice but nothing wow, which is why it's interesting that the filmmakers have included it, but it lends a touch of authenticity to a highly stylized 80s flick. The song is odd, unknown to me, but it served its plot purpose I suppose - I would have preferred something else but we can't have it all can we.
Side note: what a beautiful man (James Spader). As penetrating and mesmerizing as ever.
Moving onto the girl: she's good. Intriguing. Playing with the concept of the good/bad girl credibly. Her back story is convincing (and so is Spader's).
The "baddy" of the piece is suitably threatening - you do feel intimidated by the violence and his gang throughout, and I did hold my breath on a few occasions - in terms of the suspense and fight scenes - two thumbs up.
Interesting ending - they didn't go for any cheapshots but saw it through to the end.
All in all - I think it's a bit of a gem, if a bit of a mongrel one.
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