Streets of Fire (1984)

Genres - Action, Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Action Thriller, Rock Musical  |   Run Time - 94 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Walter Hill's highly stylized rock & roll fantasy has its moments, but unlike The Warriors (1979), the director's previous film on a similar subject, it's weakened by its uncertain tone. The script, which concerns a soldier-of-fortune's attempt to rescue a former girlfriend -- now a famed rock & roll singer -- from the clutches of an evil motorcycle gang seems perfectly suited to Hill's action chops. But the very elements of the dazzling set design that are so impressive, and the constant intrusion of the mediocre rock score, dilute the dramatic impact of what's already a thin plot. In addition, Michael Pare, as the tough hero, evinces the lack of acting talent that sent him into the straight-to-video world, and Diane Lane, as the singer, is little better. However, Willem Dafoe makes a fine, serpentine gang leader, and Rick Moranis is amusing as the manager desperate to protect Lane. John Vallone's elaborate production design, although probably the film's best element, is just too much of a good thing. The film's box-office failure somewhat curtailed Hill's choice of projects at the time.