“Well in this text book gang war movie, it’s the Greasers versus the Socs. Then two of the younger members of the Greasers, played by C. Thomas Howell and Ralph (Karate Kid) Macchio get attacked by the Socs one night, so Macchio ends up stabbing one of the Soc’s causing both Macchio and Howell to go off in hiding for a week. Until they come out of hiding and this all ends up with a big ol gang fight at the end of the movie.
That’s not even the whole thing. That’s what’s annoying about this film, it plods along episodically just not really going any where. I just got the feeling that this film doesn’t know what it wants to be or which direction it’s going. I mean there just isn’t any structure to it at all. The characters flip emotions at just about anything. To prove how much it doesn’t know what it’s doing, the tagline reads- ‘They grew up on the outside of society. They weren’t looking for a fight. They were looking to belong’. Right, well this would make sense. If. All the members of the Greasers weren’t shouting and begging for a fight through out the entire movie, funnily enough it’s the kid who stabs the guy that moans most about fighting.
It’s kind of like, West Side Stories meets Warriors, crossed with Brokeback Mountain and Grease. I mean, that’s just the feeling you get from what happens, the way certain scenes are set up with the soundtrack running paralleled and the obvious class difference between each gang and this awkward bromance between the two characters in hiding. But with a slightly poor script this just falls apart.
Having mentioned the soundtrack though, it is without a doubt the best thing about this movie, as well as some pretty nifty editing and some rather outstanding cinematography. The acting for some is a lot better than others, but with a cast this laded with star names, what do you expect. Tom Cruise just looks goofy, Matt Dillion manages to smirk his way through out the entire movie, Emilio Estevez and Patrick Swayze aren’t bad though.
It’s just the character’s I don’t understand, like Matt Dillion going from being cocky to the police man and then just a look of terror at the camera, but the strangest one is with Rob Lowe at the end. Before this scene there’s a shot of all three of the brothers (Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe and C.Thomas Howell) hugging and then 5 minutes later- cut to Rob Lowe screaming and running out of the house because there’s not enough love between all of them. You just think- out of everything that’s happened in the entire movie, what are you doing now?
There is a fairly impressive gang fight towards the end, but after that it does the Return of the King thing, by ending about 12 times
There are some fairly enjoyable moments but over all, these moments could of seemed better, had the film been held together stronger. I got the feeling that this film thinks that it’s a lot more of a big deal than it actually is, and the punches that it did pull just seemed weaker than they should of been.
Definitely not Coppola’s best, but not exactly his worst.
Best Line in the Film: “Don’t you know a rumble ain’t a rumble without me?” – Matt Dillion. I only chose this one because in the exact same year Matt Dillion, Diane Lane, Tom Waits and Francis Ford Coppola made Rumble Fish.
Another meta moment is when C. Thomas Howell walks out of the movie theater after seeing The Hustler with Paul Newman. Tom Cruise later went on to star in the sequel to The Hustler, The Colour of Money.