Rumble Fish (1983) – Lauren’s take

Ok kids, our latest piece of Cage is Rumble Fish, directed by Cage’s Uncle Frank (Coppola, duh).

Rumble Fish follows Rusty James, a hoodlum in Anytown, USA. His brother, the Motorcycle Boy, split town a few months back, his dad is an alcoholic and his mum ran out on the family a long time ago. Rusty James tries to live up to his older brothers reputation as the preeminent gang leader in town by fighting another gang leader, violating the treaty his older brother set up against rumbling between the gangs. Big bro returns, looks all pensive with his face acting and not much else happens. Seriously, such a let down.

The film does have its redeeming features, namely the fucking incredible cast: Matt Dillon is the protagonist and Micky Rourke is the Motorcycle Boy, and they are supported by Dennis Hopper as the alcoholic dad, Diane Lane as Rusty James’ girlfriend, Sofia Coppola as her kid sister and Cage, Laurence Fishburne and Chris Penn as Rusty James’ fellow gang members. Tom Waits is even in it, which made Adam squee. However, this amazing cast could not save me from my boredom. The film definitely has its moments, for instance the gang fight at the beginning of the film plays exactly like the music video for Bad, with a little Footloose thrown in for good measure. There are two kitties in the film, which gave me the happies. We also see Cage in an orgy with at least four girls (although I’m sure this is pretty standard for Cage), but outside these moments the movie really drags. For some reason we’re treated to an overuse of smoke machines (seriously, do all the streets need to look like a war zone?) and Rusty James is so unlikeable that it makes the film a chore to watch. And there’s not enough Cage, but with the film being so early in his career we begrudgingly put up with it. He does steal Rusty James’ girlfriend, which to be fair I think we all know who we’d pick given the choice between Matt Dillon and Nicolas Cage. 

So to summarise, Cage has sex with a bunch of chicks, has awesome hair and steals Rusty James’ girlfriend, just because he can.

Verdict – don’t bother, there’s not enough Cage in it to justify sitting through the movie.