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Rooftops (1989)

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A skilled young street fighter battles criminals across the rooftops of New York City.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Allan A. Goldstein (story) (as Allan Goldstein), Tony Mark (story) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Gedrick ... T
Troy Byer ... Elana (as Troy Beyer)
Eddie Velez ... Lobo
Tisha Campbell-Martin ... Amber (as Tisha Campbell)
Alexis Cruz ... Squeak
Allen Payne ... Kadim
Steve Love Steve Love ... Jackie-Sky
Rafael Báez Rafael Báez ... Raphael
Jaime Tirelli ... Officer Rivera
Luis Guzmán ... Martinez
Millie Tirelli Millie Tirelli ... Squeak's Mom
Robert LaSardo ... Blade
Jay Boryea Jay Boryea ... Willie (as Jay M. Boryea)
Rockets Redglare Rockets Redglare ... Carlos
Edouard DeSoto ... Angelo
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Storyline

T, as most of his friends, lives in a self-constructed 'house', built on top of an old building in the city. Their one passion is 'combat'. Combat is a dance/streetfight during which the contestants try to push each other out of the arena, while not allowed to actually touch each other. When drugdealers move into the neighbourhood and kill T's best friend he embarks on a mission to eradicate the drug-presence in the neigbourhood. His friends are reluctant to help though, knowing what happened to T's friend when he crossed them. Written by Joop Carels <zombie@il.fontys.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's their world. Above the world. Exploding with music, passion, romance -- and danger. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 March 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dächer des Todes See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,111,263, 19 March 1989, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$2,043,889
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the final theatrical film directed by Robert Wise. See more »


Soundtracks

Meltdown
Performed by Joniece Jameson
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User Reviews

Uncomfortable, yet entertaining.
22 June 2004 | by vertigo_14See all my reviews

There is something uncomfortable about 'Rooftops.' Perhpas it's the dreadfully slow pace and very thin plot. Characters threaten to foist revenge on one another, and each expects it, but none really seem to appreciate the danger. It comes off as young children bickering with each other about being on one another's property. It is meaningless and stupid.

Rooftops, however, does have some merit. The story is about a bunch of homeless kids living in the slums of New York. They've made their homes and their territory on the rooftops of the abandoned buildings. They carry about with their own sort of culture, particularly noted by a variety of combat (which looks more like dancing) which I think is one of the more uncomfortable moments since there seems to be no point to it.

"T" is the center of the story. Jason Gedrick's character is interesting at least in that he's not an annoying teenager (or older, I presume), but is actually a pretty smart, protective guy. Unfortunately, other than watching him go about his rather easy-going existence on the rooftops, there's not much to his character.

His unrelenting antagonist is Lobo, a pimp and drug dealer who plans to move T out of his territory. Like 'Deuces Wild,' T and his friends vow not to let Lobo move in and mess things up for these kids. I suppose they've been pushed out of one too many families (T was homeless after his parent's died and so was his friend Amber; Squeak left home to avoid his mother's abusive boyfriend; and so forth), so they're determined to just to finally find a place of their own.

Of course, getting rid of Lobo is no easy job. Especially when he patrols the rooftops with his gun toting goons,,going a little too far to get rid of a couple of homeless teenagers. Luckily, T's weird combat training and the rooftop kid's smarts make a pretty good match for Lobo. A little too unbelieveable, since Lobo was always threatening these kids with a gun. I bet a real drug dealer/pimp, intent on pushing his business no matter what, wouldn't think twice about killing these kids. Likewise, I doubt anyone would think twice about killing Lobo and his goons, since they never seemed to have connections to anyone else.

There are just some strange qualities to the movie, mostly marked by the pace. It takes a long time for characters to be introduced and understood, for the plot to actually have something interesting going on, and so forth. A lot of the movie just seems to follow the kids and their rooftop lifestyles which is unfortunate, considering that this probably could've been a much better movie, considering the story.

It sure does have a lot of weird junk going on, but I don't think it was too bad. There is just something entertaining about the whole mess. I may just be forgiving since I've seen one too many bad movies this week (at least when compared with this one). I think this one is just best recommended for die-hard 80s fans.


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