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"Leather Jackets" is (probably) not the worst movie ever made; it only seems that way while you're sitting through it, wondering why you even bother while some sort of morbid fascination keeps you rooted in place as you tell yourself it can't get much worse -- even while it proceeds to do so. It's a movie that would have been right at home back in the good old days of the "troubled youth" B-films of the 50s (although they'd have had to clean up the language considerably); nobody really expected those films to make any sense or to bother with such amenities as plot coherence or character motivations. Sadly, however, time has marched on and D.B. Sweeney's Mickey is a moron (seven years he's carried a torch for Claudi and he's never noticed that she's the town punch?) while Cary Elwes' Dobbs is the sort of creature you instinctively want to step on (but only if you're not wearing your good shoes). Not much to root for between those two, and the most positive thing to be said for them is that the Vietnamese gangboys who are chasing them seem to be no better. Ironically, the only character who does prompt any real sympathy is Bridget Fonda's Claudi -- but even that's not enough once you find yourself wondering what the hell she's doing with these losers in the first place. All in all, a downer of a film, a downer of an ending, a downer of a way to waste a couple of hours . . .
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
19. LEATHER JACKETS (Action, 1991) Former gang member Mickey (D. B.
Sweeney) is trying to shake off his former life as a criminal. He wants
to leave with and marry long time crush Claudi (Bridget Fonda), whose
reputation as the town's tart she's also keen to run away from. Their
ties to Dobbs (Cary Elwes), former leader of Mickey's gang, leads them
back to the criminal world. On the run after a failed robbery, they
flee to LA, but they soon find that crime really has no where to hide.
Critique: Low-budget, violent, ultimately bloody film shows small time crooks loyalty to be an inescapable hurdle from which no one escapes. This is the familiar ground the'Godfather' films and many others since have covered. Revolving around the "crime family" and their unbreakable bonds. The best part of the film is the suspense effected by the chase, not knowing who will live or die.
What I also enjoyed about the film is Cary Elwes' Dobbs character. A guy who's a born loser with a 'don't give a f***attitude' that puts him in line with many of the cinema's antiheroes. But as it's always the case a tough exterior hides a sensitive, inner-turmoil.
Film has a brutal; depressing ending that has made it a definite sleeper.
QUOTE: Claudi: "You know you could've really been something Dobbs, you really could've. I mean I don't understand how you turned into such a small piece of s***."
I've searched for this one seven years to find it on DVD. It never
popped up on my Internet searches on DVD sites, and I had thought I
would never see it again. Researching the movie in film guides just
brought one conclusion: it was quite loathed! I well remember it summed
up as a bloody mess. I myself didn't remember it in any detail, I had
seen it during the early Nineties as a video release, but Bridget Fonda
I remembered, and I knew I had to get this for ElectricLadyLand. Last
year I finally lucked out after e-mailing a sharp guy who works at
Takealot South Africa, and he located it for me. This past week I've
been peeking at your reviews, and knew it was generally loathed despite
me being such a fanatic about it. Tonight I again saw it, about 22
Sadly, yes, this is a dumb-ass movie, with dumb- ass male leads. An interesting Vietnamese villain, some low-budget fairly good action (hey, that poor old Peugeot really took it, huh? The old car was a near write-off anyway! All the producers could afford was a poor old Peugeot!), highly unrealistic decapitation, and a gloriously inept portrayal of a heavily-wounded man by Cary Elwes. None of this add up to anything I associate myself with.
But there is Bridget Fonda.
As a gangster movie, this one sucks. White boys obviously cannot do a convincing portrayal of street slime, they look too much like spoiled mommy's boys turned two-bit actors. As an action movie, too little action. As for the blood and gore, there is a whole lot here, but it does seem that this movie alienates its target audience. Clearly, when it was made, credited as 1991, but perhaps 1990, it was supposed to be an action thriller. Which turned out to be a dud, with weak male leads. Then came SINGLE WHITE FEMALE and Bridget Fonda's rise to fame and success, and as she raked in success after success, this was finally released. So it was then really aimed at the Fonda fans, and they're hardly the type to go for this blood-drenched drama.
Let me just say, there is F****** NO OTHER REASON TO WATCH THIS STUFF but Bridget Fonda. Let me also add that if you have an interest like mine, worshiping Hollywood goddesses, then you HAVE TO WATCH THIS STUFF because Bridget is great! Despite the movie playing against her, Bridget gives a great performance which could have given her a launch even sooner had the rest of the movie not been such S***. Clearly, Bridget was destined for bigger things, but it is very nice to see her here at the start of her career, all young and fresh. I've also got this very astute observation to make which nobody is ever gonna read anyway, 'cause who's gonna research this largely-forgotten junkyard title? But Mischa Barton of THE O.C.obviously took style inspiration from Miss Fonda in this movie. Hell, if any of you out there can check this with Miss Barton, just tell her RavenGlamDVDCollector in far-flung South Africa says hi!
All in all, only well worth watching if you are a Bridget Fonda fan and like pretty girls, especially the juxtapositioning of a pretty girl in a dark, sombre movie, all blood-splattered. Then it is not to be missed. For me, personally, Bridget was EVEN BETTER THAN I REMEMBERED, so ain't complainin'
But, dudes! This, with better casting, better script, and better action, could have been a much better movie!
My four stars all go to Bridget, everything else is sub-par, but with enough indication that something much better could well have been achieved.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watched this movie yesterday and after it was over I couldn't believe I wasted any of my time watching it! I rarely think that there are no redeeming qualities to a movie, but this one just had none. There seemed to be NO REASON for it to have even been made. I like most of the actors in it, but this was a complete waste of film. I know this sounds harsh, and I didn't hate it, it just seemed like it didn't need to have been made. The characters were pathetic and seemed to have no clear reasons for what they did. The only scene I thought was halfway effective or interesting was when they were all in the car and Dobbs was driving and Claudia was forced to talk about her sexual past and her relationship w/ Dobbs. It was nice to see a younger and slimmer Chris Penn, tho, and I always like Bridgette Fonda and D.B. Sweeney. Other than that, I could never recommend this movie. There's just no point in watching it.
Even though there is blood and guts aplenty, Leather Jackets is a decidedly unvisceral thriller. Perhaps its the fault of the bizarre screenplay, which provides the unlikeable characters with little if any motivation for their ridiculous actions. Cary Elwes provides the acting highlights: he's a long way from Princess Bride territory here.
Yeah, this one is pretty bad overall, even though it has a few reasonably bright spots. Most of the characters are utterly moronic, and their motivations are anywhere from dumb to deranged. It was a bit interesting to see the Vietnamese thugs portrayed as broadly evil. I didn't think Hollywood allowed minorities to be portrayed negatively anymore, although Asians are a rather less-protected minority here than some others. (See the California university "affirmative action" programs, for example) D. B. Sweeny played the only character I've ever seen him do. (See Cutting Edge) Bridget Fonda was actually kind of good in this one, given the (extreme) limitations of the material. And it was interesting, if not particularly pleasant to see Cary Elwes playing against type as the villain. (Contrast with his nerdy character in The Crush) All in all, I'd suggest missing this one.
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