30 January 2013 | clopzat1
Infamous not only for the stunning amount of future (then unknown) movie stars as for it's uneven direction, "The Outsiders", by no means a poor movie, starts fantastically and a third of the way through descends into a mire of corniness and choppy staging from which it is never really able to recover from. It leaves such a bitter taste ( especially for fans of the acclaimed YA novel) I believe because it starts so well, with Francis Ford Coppola's masterful staging of ensemble scenes and a seemingly unstoppable fast pace. It's unfortunately fitting that the film starts with bouncy rock and roll ( with the song "Gloria" used to fantastic effect) and then once the plot takes a turn for the dark it seems like Coppola has entrusted his direction with Carmine Coppola's unwieldy and manipulative music score. It's not all bad once you reach the third way point, the scenes with the boys just talking in Ponyboys house really flow, but Coppola rely's a lot on uncharacteristic framing devices like poorly placed jump cuts, shifting aspect ratios, fade ins, and a whole lot of corn. While the dialog is corny during the whole movie it sticks out like a sore thumb for most of the movie while in the opening it kind of fades away with Coppola's playful direction. As far as the acting goes curiosity value makes some of it more bearable then it must have been when the movie was originally released. I shall go one by one.
C.Thomas Howell- Ponyboy Curtis- Has a very limited range of expressions and actions, though he was hot stuff for a maybe 3 more years, suffice to say, he is no longer hot stuff. Though he never really has to carry the film except during the sequences at the church where the movie falls apart.
Matt Dillon- Dallas- While he is occasionally over the top he is an extremely commanding screen presence and the best actor in the film by far.
Ralph Macchio- Johnny- Simply annoying, he manages to make most of his dialog irritating.
Patrick Swayze- Darry- Look tough, take off shirt, Say three word line, repeat. His character is way cut down from the book and never manages to seem intimidating.
Rob Lowe- Sodapop- Look cute, take off shirt, say one word line, repeat. Unfourtunely Lowe, who tries his best, has about 30 seconds of screen time. His part is extremely cut down from the book.
Tom Cruise- Steve- Simply insane. Though Coppola's camera does it's best to ignore him. He isn't really a character as much as a unintentionally amusing ball of energy.