This was one of those big budget, high concept films of the '80s that the studio had high hopes for but ended up belly-flopping at the box office. It's a shame, really, because this is a wonderfully entertaining B-movie with A-movie production values.
Yeah, most of the songs (with the exception of the two awesome tunes by The Blasters) are horribly dated and totally inappropriate for the look and vibe of this movie (what do you expect? they were mostly written and/or arranged by the guy who produced Meatloaf's BAT OUT OF HELL -- ugh), which should have gone more with rockabilly and old school '50s rock 'n' roll instead, but oh well.
Michael Pare delivers his finest performance in this one as the silent tough guy Tom Cody and he has real chemisty with old flame Diane Lane who is perfectly cast as the rock singer who needs to be rescued. This was at the time when both of their careers were read hot (esp. Lane's after doing all those awesome Coppola films!) and this film was supposed to launch their careers into the stratosphere. Doh.
Surrounding them is a great cult cast of character actors... Rick Moranis as the annoying manager, Amy Madigan as the butch soldier-of-fortune, Willem Dafoe as the nasty, leather-clad bad guy and the blink-and-you'll-miss-'em cameos by Bill Paxton (great hair!), Lee Ving (from the punk band Fear), Ed Begley, Jr. (what the?!), Robert Townsend (I'M GONNA GET YOU SUCKA!) and a young Mykelti Williamson (Bubba Gump!).
This was also Walter Hill at his finest. After this, with the exception of JOHNNY HANDSOME, it was pretty much all downhill. But, man, he had a good run until the bottom fell out.
The transfer on this DVD is top notch with kickin' sound that really comes out if you've got the proper home theater set-up. It's a real shame that the studio didn't let Hill or anybody else involved provide some new extras! C'mon! If commercial flops like UHF and NEAR DARK can get awesome special edition treatments then so can this one!