Summary: Everything Coppola's own 'The Outsiders' should've been and more, 'Rumble Fish' is an electric mix of bold rebel noir style and an angst-driven depth charge at the heart of Americana. A masterpiece to cherish.
Time moves rapidly for the characters in 'Rumble Fish' but like many small town melodramas, they're trapped within it. Like exotic fish in the same old tank, once your eyes lock in you'd be hard pressed to avert them. Coppola's style is the same, and between 'Apocalypse Now' and 'Dracula' this is his most visually innovative work. The Police drummer Stewart Copeland's rhythmic score is the perfect match (see the excellent documentary on the Blu-ray). This mixture of sound and vision confined to an inescapable small city plays like a trip to a filmic zoo, vividly mixing monochrome with splashes of colour and looped audio experiments with traditional instrumentations. You're witnessing a new breed of animal; one that went extinct to early. You are urged to re-embrace it.
An incredibly involving film, 'Rumble Fish' follows (mainly) teenage losers in gangs dealing with love, family, honour, maturity, uncertainty and frustration via a passionate surge of expressionism. Coppola's eye for casting is also legendary here: Mickey Rourke, Matt Dillon, Nicolas Cage, Diane Lane, Dennis Hopper and Tom Waits bring SE Hinton's characters to life with wonderful results. Add all this together and 'Rumble Fish' is one of the best films of the 1980s.
The Masters of Cinema have excelled with the Blu-ray. It's got a fine print from Universal's vault, a commentary, two featurttes, a trailer and six deleted scenes which amount to 20 minutes of unseen material. A monumental improvement over the old DVD.
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