Streets Of Fire (1984) Review

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Streets Of Fire (1984)

Directed by Walter Hill

Starring: Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan, Willem Dafoe, Deborah Van Valkenburgh, Bill Paxton, Elizabeth Daily

Music by Ry Cooder

Running time: 93 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB):
A mercenary goes after his ex-girlfriend, a singer who has been kidnapped by a gang.

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My Opinion:

Streets Of Fire is one of those movies I always regretted not seeing back in the Eighties. Then, after watching The Warriors a couple of years ago and absolutely loving it, I knew I should finally watch Streets Of Fire as it was also made by Walter Hill. But I still didn’t get around to it! I finally decided to check it out after watching Diane Lane in the great little obscure 1982 film Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains. Unfortunately, this is definitely not as good as The Warriors and even The Fabulous Stains is better in a lot of ways. This has a cheesy sort of appeal, though, and I’m sure it has its fans amongst those who saw it at the time & grew up with it. But it probably won’t connect with anyone watching it for the first time nowadays whereas I think The Warriors continues to gain new fans.

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As the poster says, this was apparently marketed as “a rock & roll fable”. There are a lot of songs in this and I think whether or not you buy into the movie will depend on if you like the music. A lot of the music was by Ry Cooder and I can’t say I remember any of it after a first watch even though it wasn’t long ago that I saw it (except for I Can Dream About You by Dan Hartman since I already knew that song. That was stuck in my head for days afterwards!). The songs by Diane Lane’s band in the film were a bit bland & reminded me of something Meat Loaf might sing. The movie is a very odd mix of the Fifties rock ‘n’ roll thing and the early Eighties style-wise & musically. I’ve never really been a fan of the Fifties rock ‘n’ roll thing so that may be why the movie didn’t work so well for me. Also, I just couldn’t really take the two main male characters seriously when they wore their pants so high. Seriously! This is NOT a good look. Especially whatever the hell Willem Dafoe is wearing here:

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Hilarious! The hot one in the stupid suspenders there is Michael Paré, the film’s hero. I don’t think I’ve seen him in anything else and as I watched this I thought “he’s cute but he’s a pretty damn bad actor – no wonder he wasn’t in anything else”. Then I looked him up on IMDB and he’s been in 126 things & he’s still going strong! What?! What are all these movies Paré has been in? This dude’s career has completely passed me by – I knew of him & that he was in Streets Of Fire but that’s all. Huh. Hopefully his acting improved? I suppose he worked as the sexy but dumb hero that women want to sleep with…

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Diane Lane’s character was a pretty big disappointment, especially just after seeing her in The Fabulous Stains where her character had far more personality & depth. She’s nothing but a pretty “damsel in distress” in Streets Of Fire. Luckily we got two better female characters with Amy Madigan’s soldier who helps Paré to rescue Lane & Deborah Van Valkenburgh, who was also great in The Warriors, as Paré’s sister. I’ve already mentioned Dafoe & his silly pants – it was funny seeing him in this as I didn’t know he was in it (he plays the main bad guy & kidnapper). Rick Moranis was also a surprise as was Elizabeth Daily once again starring with Lane in a slightly bigger role than she had in The Fabulous Stains. Plus we also get Bill Paxton once again looking like a total douche in an Eighties film! I miss good old douchey Bill Paxton from the Eighties. He was more fun than leading role Bill Paxton of later times. He’ll never top his Weird Science role! Remember when he was in that Fish Heads video? Am I going off on one of my tangents again?

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Summary:

I clearly don’t have much to say about this film so I’ll just wrap this up. These are the kind of movies I find most difficult to write about: the “meh” ones. I can get a little passionate when I really love (or hate) a movie but have very little to say when I don’t really care. I know I’d like this a lot more if I’d seen it at the time but, despite it trying for a bit of a Fifties feel, it’s a little too stuck in 1984. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll always like a mediocre film from 1984 a million times more than a mediocre film from today and I did enjoy this a lot more than I’ve made it sound. I just feel bad because I really wanted to like it more than I did. I thought I might be discovering yet another little gem from my favorite era just like The Warriors & The Fabulous Stains. Oh well – two out of three ain’t bad. Hey, that’s a Meat Loaf song!

My Rating: 6.5/10

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29 thoughts on “Streets Of Fire (1984) Review

    • Mike! I remember you! 🙂 Yeah… I thought I loved all cheesy 80s movies too! Think it helps when you actually SEE them in the 80s. I thought Diane Lane really reached her peak of hotness in her 30s. She’s still gorgeous now! I don’t think her overly made-up look worked for her in this. You should totally get yourself some S&M dungarees!

  1. This looks totally lame and sounds like something I wouldn’t love. Also – Michael Pare hasn’t really aged well. I also think he did porn for a little bit but I could be wrong. I hope you have a good weekend! You Wanker!

  2. Oh wow! I haven’t seen this movie in years, maybe since the 80s. I remember liking it at that time (as a teen). I can see where it may not age well. It is such an 80s movie. You have me wanting to check it out again. Like you I don’t remember Michael Pare doing much else but looking on his IMDB page he has worked steadily. I’m just not familiar with hardly any of it.

    Anyway, great write-up. Made me smile (and feel a bit old).

    • Thanks!!! I’m glad it made you smile! 🙂 But sorry it made you feel old… Lol. I really wish I’d seen this at the time! I know I’d have enjoyed it much more than I did watching it for the first time this many years later. Still worth watching again if you liked it to see if you still do! 🙂 lol – yeah… Looks like Michael Paré has actually had quite the career!

  3. Damn, I don’t know what’s hotter. Those dungarees or the dungaree-ee….. (Thats a lot of e’s.) But I also have my doubts that any of this matters when there’s douchey Bill Paxton looking good as ever here.

    • You know you want a pair of Dafoe’s dungarees, Tom! 😉 You’re right, though – nothing else matters when you get to see Bill Paxton looking like a douche! Hooray for douchey Bill Paxton! Lol 🙂

  4. You are correct about the Meat Loaf connection. Jim Steinman, who co-wrote the songs in Streets of Fire used to write ALL of Meat Loaf’s songs. Tonight is What it means to be Young is classic Steinman. I loved this movie when I saw it the first time… and also the fifty more times I saw it after that (I was a huge Walter Hill fan in the 80’s). I think I liked the slick editing and I was a mild fan of the music. But I really liked the sledge hammer fight. A walk down memory lane. We were so excited for this movie back then. I included it on my guilty pleasures list. I recognize it’s a bad movie but it still takes me back.

    • Really?? Huh! Guess I was right about that Meat Loaf connection, then. Now I feel smart! Lol. 😉 Glad I was able to let you relive this one, I guess! I can definitely see why it would be someone’s “guilty pleasure” (although I don’t think anyone should feel guilty about it). I know I’d have been into this if I’d seen it at the time. 🙂 It’s just nowhere near as good as The Warriors. Damn!

  5. u never heard of Michael Pare???? He was in so many cult 80’s movies; Eddie and the Cruisers, The Philadelphia Experiment, Space Rage and of course on The Greatest American Hero! very disappointed in u 🙂

  6. I watched this… I was going to say “a couple of years ago”, but I haven’t reviewed it, so it must be 8+ years! Anyway, it was purely because of the Jim Steinman connection, which I see someone else has already mentioned (love me some Meat Loaf). I really wanted to like it too, but was also disappointed. I’d been thinking I should give it another go, especially as they put out a Blu-ray a little while back, but now I’m thinking maybe not!

    • Lol. Well…. I dunno. It may be worth another watch. I think I just had fairly high expectations after The Warriors. But this one hasn’t aged as well. As a Meat Loaf fan, though, you probably enjoyed the music a bit more. (I don’t hate Meat Loaf but wouldn’t call him a favorite artist) 🙂

  7. Pingback: My Top Ten Diane Lane Movies | Cinema Parrot Disco

  8. Pingback: My Top Ten Bill Paxton Movies | Cinema Parrot Disco

  9. Pingback: My Top Ten Willem Dafoe Movies | Cinema Parrot Disco

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