Synopsis: Incredibly bone-headed gangbanger and super-cool older bro annoy the local constabulary.
Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Starring teen heartthrobs Matt Dillon and Mickey Rourke as two brothers whose desire to break out of their urban trap eventually leads to death for one and a new beginning for the other.” [“Teen heartthrobs”? Mickey Rourke was about 30 when this movie was made!]
What Did I Learn?: 1) Gangs were a lot of fun up until heroin appeared on the scene. 2) Reality is momentarily altered when you stare into an aquarium.
You Might Like This Movie If: You love seeing your favourite Hollywood stars dress like 1980s hoods, and pretending it’s the late 1950s.
Really?: 1) Take a drink every time somebody says the words: “Rusty James”. Holy shit, it gets irritating after awhile… 2) So, why does Rusty James hang out with uber-nerd Steve (Vincent Spano)? I don’t quite understand that friendship. 3) So wait – Rusty James is challenged to a rumble, and he doesn’t bring a switchblade along?
Rating: Francis Ford Coppola once described Rumble Fish as an art film for teenagers, and that’s not a bad description. Filmed in black and white (except for brief scenes of Siamese fighting fish, which appear in blue and red), the cinematography makes the most out of light and shadow. There are a number of good performances in Rumble Fish, but wow…Rusty James is just an idiot, the story never goes anywhere, and a number of issues are never resolved. I can see what Coppola tried to do with this film – it’s edgy, experimental and very creative, but it doesn’t quite work. 6.5/10 stars.