Movie review: “Streets of Fire” (1984)

Streets of Fire

“I’m not paying you to add any thrills to my life, Cody. That’s not how this works.”

Walter Hill’s Streets of Fire wields its appellation “A Rock & Roll Fable” with a heavy emphasis on “fable” in the mythic or legendary sense of the word, almost as a hedge against having to explain why, despite outward appearances (of, it must be said, unflagging prettiness), it is not populated by recognizable human beings. The “Rock & Roll” part is also important, insofar as the characters in Streets of Fire, a gaggle of ineffectual tough guys, gun molls, and collateral damage otherwise, only ever seem at all comfortable expressing their feelings when either singing, playing, or listening to live music. On that score, I can relate. A gritty, visually arresting street opera minus approximately 60% of the necessary attendant emotion, the movie is yet another flawed yet beloved artifact of my youth that I have struggled to fully embrace as an adult, in large part because its unassuming strengths and glaring weaknesses are so clearly at war with each other. Continue reading “Movie review: “Streets of Fire” (1984)”