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Movie Review: Rumble Fish

  Posted at 05:30:00 PM
  File under  Movie Review Product Review
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

Rumble Fish Cover
Plot: 5
Acting: 5
Visual: 4
Sound: 4
Nudity: Some
Gore: None
Definitely not a B-movie, not with names like Matt Dillon Open link in a new window, Mickey Rourke Open link in a new window, Diane Lane, Dennis Hopper Open link in a new window, Nicolas Cage and Laurence Fishburne Open link in a new window. Tom Cruise Open link in a new window had been offered the main role, but he turned it down. Directed by none other than Francis Ford Coppola, this very "film Noire", is a cross between Westside Story (without the singing and dancing), American Graffiti and probably some Shakespearean drama.

The movie is very "artsy", filmed in black & white, apart from two scenes where the fish were in color. The rest is b&w, and often at night. I presume this is because the character Mickey Rourke plays can only see in black & white.

It's not a real biker movie, though there are several motorcycles, but only one motorcycle gets ridden once or twice. The rest are background.

The movie itself, despite some action scenes, notably the first "rumble, is drama. Big time drama, with soul searching, internal struggles, etc. It's funny to see the big name actors when they were really young since the movie was made in 1983. Nevertheless, the movie is very interesting, and according to the blurb, it's one of Coppola's favorite movies.

: Rusty James is an up-and-coming street hoodlum, lamenting the salad days of the gangs when his older brother, The Motorcycle Boy, ran things as President of the Packers. Before disappearing two months earlier, Motorcycle Boy outlawed gang wars, or "rumbles," by a treaty. When Rusty James breaks the treaty in a fight with Biff Wilcox, and gets seriously hurt, his brother suddenly appears. Distracted, delusional and enigmatic, his brother seems haunted and disinterested in his past as a "neighborhood novelty." Over the next few days, James' dead end life of posturing seems to fall apart; he loses his girlfriend, his friends, his own sense of confidence. The future looms like a dark, unknown wall locking James in. Through Motorcycle Boy's example, he finally learns to break free from others' expectations, and his own inner demons.

: "If you're going to lead people, you have to have somewhere to go." " I don't know why someone hasn't taken a rifle and blown your head off.  - Even the most primitive of societies have an innate respect for the insane." "He looks really old, like 25 or something".

: Very good movie, a tad too artsy for me, but very watchable. Not what you'd expect, but with big name actors (okay, they were very young then) it's difficult to go wrong. You can get a feel of the movie by watching the trailer below.

Rumble Fish Scene

Click here for many more photos of Rumble Fish Open link in a new window
Click here to see Rumble Fish's entry in the IMDB Open link in a new window

Amazon US (hover over link below for price)Amazon UK

Rumble Fish Trailer (2 minutes 21 seconds)

Click to see the Video clip

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