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Wars and drought have ravished the future, a distant reality, and the
is now a husk of its former self. Civilisation now exists in small pockets
spread across the desolate landscapes. It is the time of heroes, fighters,
and bronzed men who know how to kick butt in a big way.
Steel Dawn, is has an interesting premise, but as a story struggles to develop much higher than a collection of action set pieces. Swazye plays a nomad (the man with no name), who after a tangle with some strange human like creatures of the waste lands, runs into his old mentor on the way to the pub. His mentor is killed and Swazye's character is now after revenge. The film has a spaghetti western feel to it but with out the mystery.
But despite that it has its good side too, as always Swazye is enjoyable to watch and the supporting casts do an admirable job with their characters. Christopher Neame brings a likeable side to his fallen warrior turned assassin, Sho. Who after all just wanted to challenge a worthy opponent to fight. Brion James is good as Tark, Kasha's foreman, whose initial jealousy of the Nomad make him suspicious of all he does, so of course Tark's trust must be earned.
This is not an example of cinematic magic. It is in many ways though a fun film, silly and enjoyable , with out a doubt oh so cheesy.
Enjoy I did.
The outline (plot may be too strong a word) of this movie is set in the
future when water is scarce, and civilization is a dusty one-bar town.
Our hero (Swayze) must prevent the evil cattle (oops!) Water baron from
owning everything and defiling everyone. To be truly evil, our villain
has to get an evil warrior to be Swayzes' warrior nemesis.
Think of this movie as "Road House" after the apocalypse. Swayze plays the troubled warrior; uneasy with the violence he must commit for a higher purpose, yet wise in literature and sensitive to a woman's needs (Sounds kinda like "Next Of Kin" too, doesn't it?).
While unworthy of an Academy Award, it is a fun movie that provides the kind of entertainment you expect from a modern swashbuckler. The good people are really good (or flawed in an OK way like the ranch foreman), and the bad people are really bad -- except for Swayzes' nemesis who is bad, but has a code of honor that is almost as complex as Swayzes' character.
I like it; it has a place on my shelf and I've probably watched it 3 or 4 times since it came out.
Steel dawn, had no dawn and very little steel to speak of. However, it did contain large quantities of Swayze. The hero, played by Patrick Swayze, is a nomad traveling post-apocalyptic wastelands in search a swayz-tacular adventure. He meets up with Tark, a hulk-hogan-like individual who eventually befriends swayze. Their advisary, played by a rejected member of Bon Jovi, spends the majority of the film trying to kill swayze because he is jealous of his hair style. There are many whimsical happenings along the way, such as a swayze finding a dog, and swayze climbing a sand dune. Overall i give this movie a 4/10 due to its poor method of conveying the modern struggles of the inner self in an existential environment.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Recap: In a barren post-apocalyptic world a few struggling farmers try
to make ends meet. Water is scarce and any vegetation absent. In this
world the lone Nomad wanders, armed with his sword, fighting sand
raiders and meeting up with friends in the rare taverns around. When a
friend, just named peacemaker in an isolated village, get murdered by
an assassin hired by the local rich rancher, Nomad walks to the village
and takes a job on one of the farms. Soon he finds himself in trouble
leading to an inevitable showdown with the assassin.
Comments: A classic sci-fi action made out of the eighties. It is a poor post-apocalyptic world and that not only means that the costumes can be crude but that any special effects will be rare. Combined with that the population is way down you have the perfect mix for a low budget, small cast sci-fi action. Throw in a sword and some odd vehicles and you're clearly set in the future (ironic about the sword, isn't it?).
There are some OK swordfights and a few good fistfights, augmented by some too emphasized sound effects, and a thin story that gives enough material and motivation to work with between the fights. But there isn't much more. Ironically this is also a typical recipe for a cult movie, even though Steel Dawn hasn't seem to garner that acclaim. Husband and wife Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi stars in this movie, and does it well considering the story they have to work with. A little extra trivia with Brion James and a young Arnold Vosloo also appearing in the cast.
But finally this is movie is only for two different groups of people, those who are either fan of the genre, the post-apocalyptic science-fiction movie, or fan of Patrick Swayze. If you don't consider yourself belonging to one of those groups I doubt that you will find Steel Dawn to your liking. To me it was OK, but there have been much better movies in the same kind made, both before and after.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A desert warrior, a former soldier of a war that left the land barren
and practically worthless, assists a young women, her little boy, and
laborers(..who operate a camp attempting to develop water for their
valley), soon defending them against a tyrant and his sadistic brood
who wish to overrule the region.
As much as I hate to admit this, Steel Dawn is really a rather average Mad Max clone, offering nothing really new to the post apocalyptic genre except a really good cast attempting to give the rather mediocre material a boost. Brian May's score, quite a majestic orchestral composition, and stunning South African locations are a shot in the arm, and there's plenty of violence(..a lot of people get stabbed)thrown in for good measure, but not much in the way of originality.
Swayze's enigmatic warrior, called Nomad, has a 'steely' resolve and is equipped with the physical presence needed to fulfill the required Mel Gibson look. His skills at spinning kicks which down his foes are on full display and Swayze does engage in not one but two spirited battles with Christopher Neame, in a showy role as a hired assassin, Sho, who murdered Nomad's mentor and trainer Cord(John Fujioka, making the most of a nothing role)in cheap fashion(Sho has a blade hidden in a knee pad which springs forth when it appears he could be in trouble). Brion James has a nice supporting turn in a rare hero role as Tark, an intimidating worker whose strength and girth help Kasha(Lisa Niemi)a great deal around the camp, repairing and building plumbing systems needed to operate their water machine. Tark is quite a loyal hand who, at first, rejects Nomad out of jealousy mostly, for he carries a torch for Kasha, and doesn't appreciate this outsider moving in on his "family". Obviously, Nomad will form a fatherly bond with Kasha's son, Jux(Brett Hool).
The characters all appear in "post-Holocaust wardrobe", patterns sewn together from materials that weren't destroyed during the ambiguous war. You also have ratty hairdos, odd land rovers(..seemingly formed from various metals and materials found from junk yards) and incongruous swords(..steel fashioned in peculiar styles). Anthony Zerbe is Damnil, the cold-blooded despot whose authoritarian command over the region strikes fear in the communities attempting to survive in such harsh environs. Early role for Arnold Vosloo, as one of Damnil's goons, who would come into his own as a formidable presence both as hero and villain in cartoon action adventures such as Darkman(..in the sequels), John Woo's Hard Target, and the revamped Mummy movies.
Steel Dawn will be of interest mainly to Swayze's die hard fans and those of us attracted to the Post Apocalyptic genre as a whole. Others should beware. Might interest those desiring to see Swayze and his wife working together in a movie. But, in all honesty, this tale goes through the motions, never quite rising above other Mad Max imitations that existed around the same time.
Underneath the thin post-apocalyptic setting, "Steel Dawn" is a standard "drifter fights the bandits" western. It has plenty of western cliches (e.g. a widowed pioneer woman whose farm is at risk) and plenty of action. I don't recommend renting this movie, but if it comes on TV you might consider watching it. It's better than any apocalyptic film that Kevin Costner was involved in (or will be). But the only characters with a glimmer of originality (such as Swayze's old mentor) get very little screen time. This places "Steel Dawn" a few notches below the gold standard of apocalyptic films, "The Road Warrior."
Just caught up with it after 25 years and while this is not a classic,
this is not a bad movie. I saw this when it first came on video and
remember enjoying it and feeling it was a solid action flick for
Patrick Swayze. I am very surprised all these years later after seeing
it today on TV, that it still is, though I would only recommend it to
people who like old movies and/or post-apocalyptic stories.
First of all, it was nice to see Patrick Swayze and his wife, Lisa Niemi paired together on screen. They had a tremendous relationship in real life; one of the only Hollywood couples to whom "till death do us part" really meant something. They clearly have an easy demeanor around one another that makes their scenes memorable. Most of all what's good about this movie and similar old flicks made on clearly-low-budgets is the lack of pretense. It's not trying to be flashy, it's not trying to be epic, nor is it trying to be something it's not. This is just a simple tale of a wanderer (Swayze) who comes upon a tiny village and learns to help the people in exchange for food, water and a bed and comes to defend them from marauders. Nothing more. His character, called "The Stranger" in the film, becomes a man of example, whose actions speak louder than words and who shows us how we can trust someone based on how they act and not what they say. Swayze has charisma and that's what makes it better than average for this type of old film. He was such a good dancer we forget he had some action chops as well. NEXT OF KIN, and ROAD HOUSE were made after this, along with POINT BREAK, and are better known. This is a quiet flick, a good one to watch on a lazy weekend afternoon.
The direction and music score are a little dated, as is Niemi's hairstyle (very popular in the '86-'87 years). The acting is okay overall, though Anthony Zerbe always makes a good villain. Mostly the excellent fight scenes keep the film moving forward. The choreography of the action is very good and Swayze truly has the grace of a dancer in his hand-to-hand combat. STEEL DAWN holds up as a nice reminder of simple, unpretentious 1980s storytelling.
After most of civilization destroyed by a futuristic World War III,
well-built warrior Patrick Swayze (as Nomad) wanders through the
desert. He meditates while doing handstands (guess this helps make him
a better warrior, and you will be proved correct), then shows excellent
swordsmanship by annihilating some "half-people" who appear to live in
the sand. As "Tremors" (1990) later confirmed, sand creatures are
nasty; besides, they threaten the life of our handsome hero. Looking
like a romance novel cover model, Mr. Swayze must find sneering
vigilante Christopher Neame (as Sho), the man killed his martial arts
Cooling his heels, Swayze stays at a farm with beautiful blonde widow Lisa Niemi-Swayze (as Kasha) and her cute son Brett Hool (as Jux), who just may be related to director Lance Hool. They live with brave Brion James (as Tark). Proving hairstylists will survive a nuclear holocaust, the Swayzes must protect her irrigation development from wicked Anthony Zerbe (as Damnil). His wells are running dry and she has all the water. This is highly derivative, but with good enough action. Swayze body watchers will be in more than pleased with his appearance. The soundtrack by Mad Max" (1979) composer Brian May is adept.
****** Steel Dawn (11/6/87) Lance Hool ~ Patrick Swayze, Lisa Niemi, Christopher Neame, Brion James
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I disagree with most of the other comments on here, as i throughly
enjoy this film-and have recently acquired it on DVD to replace my
video version.Granted it may sound and look a bit dated (after all it
was made in the late 80's) I think people can get a bit too serious
about films and picky-i love films (in fact iv'e always fancied myself
to be a writer/director)Can't people just enjoy the film,however
simplistic it is? Without expecting too much? Especially from an 80's
Steel Dawn is a nice and easy to follow film-perfect for those weekday nights or when you don't want to watch something too complex that takes a lot of concentration.
It follows the story of Nomad (Swayze) who lost his squad of soldiers during a war. He now roams alone in the sandy wastelands, still wearing his tired uniform with pride. He meets up with his old mentor (who is now a peace keeper, and witnesses his murder) He ends up taking on the role of his former mentor, and heads to a valley of farms to act as peace keeper. The main landowner (Damnil) rules the valley with intimidation and fear,and is in search of a rare pure water supply-located on one of the other farms (hence the need for a peace keeper)No one is physically strong enough or capable of standing upto him-or his army of men.(thats why Damnil had a contract taken out to kill the former peace keeper before he reached the valley-but he wasn't counting on Swayze turning up! From then onwards the film flows nicely following swayzes attempt of being accepted and trusted by the people who have gave him shelter-to trying to keep the peace the only way he knows how-fighting. The film keeps you watching from start to finish (just to see what Swayze does next!) The ending is superb...predictable maybe, but a good end to a good film.
There are some hidden things in the film-such as Jux (a boy living on the same farm as Swayze) trying to over-come his fathers death-by looking upto Swayze as a role model.Plus the friendship growing between Swayze and Tark. ANYROAD! Iv'e gone on far too long! I feel even though 'Steel Dawn' maybe a bit cheesy and outdated,and sometimes predictable-it is simply an easy going, enjoyable film. With sword wielding and fighting to keep action seekers occupied-to the growing love story between Nomad and Kasha.(the person who's farm hes staying on) The story is meant to be simple-and don't forget the fact it was made in an era of cheese (the 80's!) overall though worth watching-maybe not as a Friday night 'film premier',but when you just want an easy going film to fill the gap. I certainly recommend it 8/10
Expect cheese...expect simplicity...expect an 80's made feel...and you'l end up enjoying this easy going and pleasant classic Swayze film ...
I give it 6 out of 10 because it has one of better sword fights I have
seen made by Hollywood. As I was watching the movie, it sort of
reminded me of the great western movie "Shane" starring Alan Ladd. It
had many of the same elements like a lone stranger comes to town and
battles the evil doers who would harm the innocent farmers. Patrick
Swayze plays his part well as the protagonist in this movie.
Interesting enough though, there is no weapon used save non projectile
weapons. What I mean by this is that there are no pistols, rifles, or
bombs. In some ways, not having those type of weapons in this movie
makes it more refreshing. It kind of makes it like a samurai movie of
sorts. All in all, a pretty good movie.
The story takes place in some future where the land seems more desert than anything else; and therefore, water is an important commodity.
In a small valley, a group of farmers try to make a living but is harassed by an individual whose aim is to take over the whole valley. In comes Patrick Swayze who plays a former soldier who comes to the valley to exact revenge on those who killed his former comrade.
During this pursuit, however, he meets a woman and her child who make him see what is really important in life.
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