Rob Lowe stars as Youngblood, a wet behind the ears rookie playing in the Canadian Junior Hockey League. Because of his quickness and puck-handling skills, he manages to gain the respect of his teammates, including the team captain Derek (Patrick Swayze). Youngblood finds that winning his coach (Ed Lauter) over is a tougher task; mostly because he’s also dating his daughter (Cynthia Gibb, from Malone).
Youngblood is a great fucking sports movie. I loved it because it was all about the characters interacting and not so much about the usual sports clichés. I particularly liked the fact that the “journey” Youngblood took wasn’t necessarily to become a better player or person, but to basically become a hockey goon that could actually fight.
The film also echoes two of the 80’s best sports movies, Vision Quest (the hero is proving something to himself rather than trying to Win the Big Game) and Days of Thunder (the hero has a major psychological setback when his rival-turned-mentor has a debilitating brain injury). So, if you’re a fan of those films, you’ll definitely love this flick. Plus, this movie is just offbeat and weird enough to make it some sort of classic. It’s the only movie I know of that features a hot MILF boardinghouse lady who goes nympho every time she looks at hockey cards and Patrick Swayze eating flowers. It’s also funny that Rob Lowe’s opening conversation with his dad about leaving the farm to go play hockey is almost word for word the same conversation Luke Skywalker had with his Uncle Owen when he wanted to leave the farm to go to the Academy.
The performances are really terrific too. Swayze is excellent as the team captain and has some great moments with Lowe. They were both in The Outsiders together, so I’m sure their previous working relationship helped give them some added chemistry. And speaking of other actors with Swayze connections, it was fun seeing young Keanu Reeves paired up with His Swayzeness five years before they teamed up for Point Break.
But the movie belongs to Rob Lowe. This is far and away his best performance before he became a sexual degenerate. If only he could have a couple more performances like this one under his belt, he’d be back on top in no time.