Streets Of Fire Is A Movie Worth Seeing

Walter Hill is one of the most incredible directors of the last thirty or forty years, always capable of banging out a great, unpretentious, action packed flick. In the mid eighties, he sat down with a notebook and wrote a checklist of everything he wanted to see in the greatest movie ever, and the result was Streets of Fire, one of the all time cult eighties movie downloads.

The film takes place in a city trapped somewhere between the nineteen fifties and the nineteen eighties, following Tom Cody, a war hero returning to his hometown upon hearing that his old girlfriend, Ellen Aim, has been kidnapped by Raven, the leader of the local biker gang. The film takes place in a beautiful, glitzy, rainy, neon lit city.

The movie is really defined by the music, again, blending fifties and eighties styles. You’ll hear these great old fashioned fifties rock tunes with a layer of synth and aggressive, eighties style vocals. It really invents its own style of pop and Rock and Roll, even having led to the hit single, I Can Dream About You.

The story itself is pretty stock action film stuff, but this time it’s done with such incredible style that it feels fresh and all new. The girlfriend is kidnapped, the hero comes home to save her. We’ve seen this story hundreds of times before, but this time, it’s elevated to a sort of modern day, Rock and Roll fairy tale.

Hill has remained one of the most consistently competent and capable directors since his debut decades ago, and it’s really too bad that he doesn’t often get the respect he deserves. He tends to focus on action flicks, which tends not to earn the same sort of respect as other genres, but Hill really is one of the best directors out there right now.

The pop and rock soundtrack is contrasted by Ry Cooder’s guitar score, which adds an extra layer of earthiness to the character of Tom Cody. The atmosphere and soundtrack are largely glitzy and fast paced, so the more laid back, gritty sound of Cooder’s slide guitar adds a certain contrast that really helps both sides of the soundtrack compliment each other.

If you want a great double feature, watch Streets of Fire alongside The Warriors. The Warriors is, similarly, a sort of Rock and Roll, street fable, but takes the concept in a rougher, tougher, more gritty direction, while Streets of Fire is a little more glossy, a little more pretty and colorful in comparison to The Warriors and its title street gang heroes.

The movie was going to be a trilogy, with the two sequels to be called The Return of Tom Cody and The Far City, but box office returns came out somewhat disappointing and those plans were scrapped. It’s too bad, because it does feel like there was another story to tell in this environment. Luckily, the film has become a cult classic over the years and has earned the fanbase it deserved, it’s only too bad that didn’t happen back when that would’ve gotten us a sequel!

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