Rumble Fish ★★★★

The Motorcycle Boy Reigns

Take a shot every time someone says "Rusty James" in this. You will die. Even if I think the first two Godfather films and Apocalypse Now are better movies and ones I personally enjoy more, I think Rumble Fish has my favorite camerawork and overall aesthetic of a Coppola film I've seen so far. The black and white is beautiful, helps sort of add a timeless feeling to the story, and the moments where the film gets more experimental with its music and imagery often work very well. To me, for being a film that seems to be in some way about the tainting of youth and time being wasted, there is a lot of love to be found in this film. Love Rusty has for his brother, for his girlfriend, for his gang. Rusty, The Motorcycle Boy, they're all more than their gang activity. You wish for them to have a better life, but those around them seem to be doing no favors. An absent mother, a wandering drunk of a father, cops just looking for one good excuse to blow them away, rival gang members, it's an unforgiving existence that somehow offers beauty. Rusty has his unlikable moments, and he isn't the smartest guy you'd come across, but I found something uniquely lovable with him in a way where I wanted nothing bad to happen to him, even if I knew this is the kind of film that has to end in tragedy. When that tragedy hits, even knowing it's coming didn't make it hurt any less. It's very much a feeling, mood-driven film, taking its time maybe more than it should even with its short length, but I came out of it liking the experience quite a bit. Also happy to see another film that captures Nic Cage when he was hot for like five seconds.


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