Reckless

recklessSomewhere in one of those Pennsylvania mining towns is a teenager who just wants to settle down and live a quiet, peaceful life in his/her birthplace.

But you won’t find that character on the movie screen, at least not for a while. Small-town angst is very hot right now, and Reckless is the latest film in which a teen is compelled to bust out of the polluted home environment.

Unlike Flashdance or All the Right Moves, this hero (Aidan Quinn) doesn’t have a talent he can parlay into a ticket out. He’s a rebel without a pause, who snarls at the wholesome, clean-cut kids. You know the cliché: He ain’t bad. He’s just misunderstood.

So this guy falls for a cheerleader/queen-of-the-prom (Daryl Hannah), who is supposed to be going steady with the school’s quarterback. Then she falls for our rebel hero – but you are ahead of me already, probably.

There isn’t a new wrinkle in all of Reckless, which is a disservice to the two stars, who aren’t bad. Daryl Hannah was the replicant who tried to kill Harrison Ford with her thighs in Blade Runner, and she’s got a very sexy quality on screen.

Aidan Quinn is getting a build-up as the new James Dean, although he looks more like Bruce Springsteen. Quinn does have a magnetic presence: you can see why director Martin Scorsese picked him to play Jesus in Scorsese’s now-postponed film project, The Last Temptation of Christ, over such heavyweights as Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken.

But the material is so uninspired that we’ll have to withhold prognosis on Quinn’s career for the moment. Chalk it up as a promising debut.

First published in the Herald, February 4, 1984

Directed by James Foley, written by Chris Columbus – not perhaps the first director-writer combo that comes to mind, but hey, whatever works. This makes me recall the time I intereviewed Foley for (I think) his film Fear; we sat down in the lobby of Seattle’s Seven Gables, a cozy arthouse theater, and he enthusiastically said he was in the mood for a beer, sending the publicist across the street to bring us a couple of bottles of Rainer, which we drank during the interview. It was 9 a.m. (He’d said something fond about Sheryl Crow’s “All I Wanna Do” and its line about getting a beer buzz in the morning.) Good interview, and an interesting director. Speaking of degrees of separation, I sat next to Aidan Quinn at a Seattle International Film Festival awards breakfast one time – many years after this movie – and he was a heckuva nice guy. Anyway, this movie is probably better than I gave it credit for, but I haven’t gone back to check. 

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