The Other


Streets Of Fire Review

May 30, 1984

If there's a market for a theatrical that performs like a full-length music video, Streets Of Fire might ignite a trend. Assembled by the team that created the hit 48 Hours, the film is a pulsing, throbbing orchestration careering around the rescue of a kidnapped young singer. The decor is urban squalor. The film, alternately, and sometimes simultaneously, suggests the rhythm and texture of Blade Runner, Escape From New York and The Warriors (the latter also a Hill-Gordon production).

Soundtrack album is terrific. Movie has 10 original songs - by Stevie Nicks, Jim Steinman, Ry Cooder (who scored), and the LA group The Blasters, among others - and musically the movie is continually hot, with lyrics charting the concerns of the narrative line, simplistic as it is.

Film also had undeniable texture, smoke, neon, rainy streets, platforms of elevated subway lines, alleys and warehouses create an urban inferno in an unspecified time and place. Andrew Laszlo's lighting and John Vallone's production design, and Marilyn Vance's imaginative costuming, spill colors across the screen vividly and artfully.

But all form and no content is boring. There is no characterization to speak of, except in the case of Rick Moranis as an edgy and subtly humorous foil to the deadhead performances of Diane Lane as the kidnapped singer, Michael Pare as her former boyfriend and tough, handsome rescuer, and Amy Madigan as an adventurer in tow.

Lane, whose singing voice is dubbed, looks great and is cast expertly. So, for that matter are Willem Dafoe and Lee Ving as leaders of the dreaded outlaw gang the Bombers.