The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

BLUE CITY (1986) *


Remember in the 80’s when Hollywood issued a mandatory quota and studios were forced to release at least one Brat Packer movie a week?  Well now that Blue City is on DVD, you can relive the time when the names Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy could open a picture.  After The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire, this was the duo’s THIRD movie together. 


The third time is not the charm. 


Nelson stars as a perennial fuck-up who shows up in his Florida hometown looking for his father.  He learns that his pops was murdered and the prime suspect is the slimy town club owner/gangster (Scott Wilson).  So Nelson’s big plan is to go around town being a jerk to him, reigning down a few minor inconveniences on his archenemy, and basically annoying him to death.  When that doesn’t work, he gets his best friend (David Caruso) and his sister (Sheedy) to help him solve the murder.


The REAL murderer will be obvious to anyone possessing half a brain, or at the very least, has seen a few movies in their time.    


But the total lack of any surprises is not the movie’s downfall.  The thing that sends this flick straight to the Turkey Graveyard is the thoroughly annoying performance by Judd Nelson. 


I’m sorry, but Judd Nelson is NOT convincing as a sulking, motorcycle-riding, loner badass.  With his puppy dog eyes and perpetual pouty face, Nelson looks more like a spoiled brat with a toothache than a vengeance seeking tough guy.  The scenes where Nelson waltzes into a bar and pushes people around and smashes things up are just not believable.  Seriously, just try not to piss yourself laughing whenever Judd is running around with a gun in his hand and barking orders.  Nelson isn’t always a bad actor (check him out in The Dark Backward if you don’t believe me), but he’s pretty rotten in this flick and is hopelessly miscast to boot.  


Caruso puts in the only three dimensional performance in the film as Nelson’s blue collar buddy.  He seems to be the only one in the entire movie giving two shits about his character, and if he was in the lead, Blue City may have provided some sparks.  At least co-star Paul (Star Trek 2) Winfield gets to keep his dignity as the chief of police and Julie (Fright Night 2) Carmen makes for some fetching eye candy as Wilson’s moll. 


Director Michelle Manning goes for that whole skeevy Florida Noir thing that George Armitage did so well with Miami Blues, but fails to evoke much style, let alone substance.  It’s easy to see why she never directed another movie after this.  The nominal action scenes are sloppily edited and choreographed and add to the movie’s suckitude.  The film was written and produced by Testosterone Cinema guru Walter (48 Hours) Hill, and had he been at the helm, it would’ve been a definite improvement.  There IS a great score by Ry Cooder that certainly helps, but not much.


But then again, nothing could have overcome Nelson’s awful performance.  During the course of the movie, Nelson spouts a lot of pseudo-tough guy talk; none of it is believable in the least, but here are some lines that are eerily prophetic of how the audience will feel while watching this crap:  


“I want some fucking justice and until I get that, your life is gonna suck!”  Roger that Judd, my life DID suck while I was watching your inane quest for vengeance. 


“You’re going to feel grief and woe of Biblical proportions!”  Right you are Judd, that’s exactly how I felt watching your sorry ass running around Florida trying to act tough. 


“I either confuse people or I piss them off!”  Judd, I couldn’t have said it any better myself.


Blue City is making it’s way to DVD for the first time anywhere, courtesy of Legend Films (who have been steadily releasing niche titles from the Paramount vaults).  For more information on this release and other forthcoming titles from Legend; check out their website at  

Tags: action, b

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