Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Steel Dawn (1987)

Man, I was reading through the comments section for this flick on imdb, and I was more than a little flabbergasted to see some of the reviews. It's like everyone is trying to find reasons not to like this cinematic masterpiece because it might somehow degrade their hipster rating on facebook or some shit even though they were clearly awestruck by the sheer supremeness of Patrick Swayze fighting evil in an apocalyptic wasteland. There are excuses like, "This is not an example of cinematic magic...", While unworthy of an Academy Award..." and "Steel Dawn is a nice and easy to follow film-perfect for those weekday nights or when you don't want to watch something too complex that takes a lot of concentration." As if I ever needed any reason to bask in the sunlit glory of Swayze kicking mutant ass all while sporting the most beautiful mullet ever conceived and captured in cinematic history. I mean, it's more than a mullet; it's layers of mullet, and maybe a little braid. I spent much of the film toiling over the decision of which mullet was most awesome, and it was a hard one. But ultimately, the sheer fluid movement and chic gloss of Swayze's mullet beat out the competition, much as Swayze beats up people in this cleverly constructed desert wasteland where mighty mullets and eclectic weapons rule the dunes. Actually, not too much construction was required since there were only a couple of edifices, and the entire entity was filmed in Namibia. Ahh, on-site filming: does it get any better? So if you're wondering why the desert looks so damn good, and even better than you thought deserts outside of Monument Valley could look, now you know why: no CGI, fuckers! There are many other things that make this newly discovered diamond gleam above most others, including the previously mentioned diverse weapon collection and the presence of original and engineered future vehicles. Yes folks, we have lift-off. In addition to the dune-rovers, there is a sort of template for the podracers that we've all come to know and despise in Episode I, and we are graced with not just fist fights, but also sword fights, nun-chuck fights, and other crazy bladed and non-bladed WM(only in Swayze's hands)Ds. But just because there's fighting and vehicles, trysts with power, a post-apocalyptic premise and studded leather costumes doesn't mean there's that much to compare with Road Warrior. This is much more Western, with the one well of water (I'll show you my cave of wonders Nomad) and the lone dude willing to sort that shit out. Bring down the tyrants! Oh, did I mention that Swayze is so freakin' awesome in this P-A future that he gets graced with the singular name of Nomad? I mean, when they start capitalizing that shit, you know you're somebody, even if it's a somebody shrouded in mystery (and leather). Additionally, standing proud and red white and blue is none other than the late-great Brion James. Is that shirt supposed to be some sort of metaphor? If it were just the colors, I could find a way around the American dilemma. But red, white and blue combined with a blonde mullet worthy of a round in the ring with Swayze's coifed creation seems like more than a coincidence. Either way, I'm just glad they found a place to stick him in this movie. Seriously, there are only like 6 or 7 characters, and one of them is a chick not showing her tits (oh wait, that's Swayze's wife; they should be proud to share that much harrowingly awesome hair between them!), and one of them is a fat little kid who apparently scored a credit through sheer familial bonds with the producer. I just hope he shares familial bonds with either a brothel owner or a cosmetic surgeon, because dayum that kid is ugly! Regardless, I am still clueless as to why this movie isn't rolling off every action-fan tongue the way that Road House and Tall Tale...no wait...Point Break used to. I guess it could have something to do with the 1987 release. That's right, it's pretty hard to concentrate on P-A fiction when there are a million multiple o faces happening across the globe due to the girly greatness known as Dirty Dancing, a creamy classic released in the same year. How does one man accomplish so much? And in the late 80's no less! Hopefully Swayze realizes that he doesn't need monetary retribution (yes, that's right, less than a million dollars) to proudly bear this crest upon his shield of ass-kicking. Booyah!

Final Judgment: "Swayze will go out with strength and dignity, much as he has kicked ass for justice through the years!/Any future with Swayze, post-apocalyptic or no, is the future for me!/Fuck, that cover is awesome!

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