4 December 2001 | XRANDY
A melange of fantastic Americana
This great film is a fantasy that mixes all the enjoyable elements from rock-n-roll and the old west. It is a veritable pastiche of Americana motifs. It uses an urban setting to support it's farrago of 50s costumes and cars, 60s and 70s motorcycles and beautiful anachronistic music. The best was taken of disparate decades in pop culture and put together in a good old-fashioned rescue story.
As the opening words proclaim, this is a `rock and roll fable' taking place in `another time and another place'. This is a rock fantasy in every sense of the word! Cool music, sexy girls, lawlessness, and self-destructive behavior. The story is played out in a world that while not anarchy is at least nihilistic. It is not so much a dystopia as it is a futuristic anomie. There are no elders shown in this dimension and apparently no central authority. In fact the only administration shown are glimpses of (often-corrupt) cops who function mainly as factional representatives with limited power. They are analogous to the old west lawmen trying to keep peace among rowdy outlaws. The filmmakers were adroit in not trying to explain this strange world. And it is better for viewers to simply accept it, and enjoy it.
The casting was brilliant for this film as Michael Pere is perfect as the reluctant hero Tom Cody and William Defoe is equally adept as the perverse Raven. Rick Moranis was made for his role as the indignant, offensive music-manager Fish. He also has the pleasure of delivering one of the flick's best lines as he unwillingly pays off a hobo for information, `Go buy some soap!'
By the way I think it is no coincidence that Jim Steinman (songwriter for Meatlaof) penned the opening and ending tunes. He has always espoused his love for the character Peter Pan because he stays eternally young. That is the type of thinking that obviously inspired such a movie as this.