Rumble Fish movie poster
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Rumble Fish movie poster

Rumble Fish Movie Review

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A strange yet intriguing drama, "Rumble Fish" may be considered great by some and just too offbeat for others. I respect the hard work that Francis Ford Coppola obviously put into this star-studded 1983 film, but something just didn't click.

"Rumble Fish," which stars Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, Nicolas Cage and Diana Scarwid, is about a local thug named Rusty James (Dillon) who feels he has to be tough for the sake of living up to his brother's reputation, but his brother (Rourke) wants nothing more than to forget the past. Complicating Rusty James' life is a beautiful schoolgirl named Patty (Lane), but she may be the only thing that keeps him from completely ruining his life. As he continues to try to pull himself out of the gutter, he begins to realize that if he doesn't shape up soon everyone around him will make sure that he never gets up again.

Beautifully shot in black and white and treated with an almost surreal fashion, "Rumble Fish" has the look and talent involved to be something great, but again - it just didn't click. Perhaps it is that the fight sequences feel dated, or that the story has lost a bit of its edge in the last twenty years. It took me three days to watch this movie, and it's only 95 minutes long. I don't know what it was, but "Rumble Fish" isn't for me.

That being said, the acting is top notch, the story interesting and the direction quite impressive; "Rumble Fish" is a good movie that just isn't for everyone. Now out on a new special edition DVD, fans can feast on deleted scenes, a making-of featurette and a feature commentary by none other than Mr. Copolla.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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