Rude Boy (1980)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Docudrama, Rock Musical  |   Run Time - 125 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Elbert Ventura

A genuine curio, Rude Boy defies easy classification. Set in England circa 1977-1978, a period of widespread social disaffection and economic malaise, the movie follows the adventures of Ray (Ray Gange), a dissolute youth who eventually ends up working as a roadie for the Clash. Needless to say, the gig offers the movie prime opportunity to show electric concert footage of the seminal punk band at its invigorating best. For Clash fans looking for a quick punk fix, the movie disconcertingly shows actual footage of street unrest and fascist-group demonstrations that marked that tumultuous period. Even worse is the desultory plot of Ray trying to find his way through a confusing time for both himself and society. Equal parts documentary, social commentary, and concert film, this 1980 entry would seem clearly a pretext for exploiting the Clash's massive popularity if its explicitly political thrust didn't hint at grander ambitions. For all its social conscience, the movie comes off as half-baked, a neither fish nor foul effort. The saving grace -- and frankly, the only reason to see the movie -- is the spectacular scenes of the Clash performing live. Boasting rare footage of one of the great bands in rock history, the movie is nothing less than a must-see for the Clash's die-hard fans.