Monday, July 6, 2009
Film Review: FAST FORWARD (1985, Sidney Poitier)
Stars: 4.5 of 5.
Running Time: 110 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Cindy McGee (voice of Shana on JEM), Irene Worth (DEATHTRAP, EYEWITNESS), John Scott Clough (CAPTAIN RON, PHANTOMS), Don Franklin (SEAQUEST DSV), ace choreography by Rick Atwell.
Tag-lines: "WHEN YOU'VE GOT ONE SHOT AT THE TOP YOU'VE GOT TO MOVE."
Best one-liner: "Clear the floor- were goin to war!"
From LILIES OF THE FIELD to THE DEFIANT ONES, I guess I never realized that beneath Sidney Poitier's stern visage and fiery eyes rumbled a deep-seated love for dance fighting, jazzy MIDI-music, and lip-synching men wearing leather zipper vests. Alllright!
In the 80's, Israelis and Italians had taken the tight jeans/ pulsating group hug/ inspirational dance movie subgenre and truly made it their own. But FAST FORWARD is a homegrown American original, and it stands on its own amidst giants like BREAKIN', SALSA, MURDERROCK, and LAMBADA.
Yeah, dont forget that AMERICA started it all with FAME, FLASHDANCE, and the like. And who better than director Poitier and a couple of starry-eyed kids from Sandusky, OH to take up the mantle?
And you have no choice but to love it. There's not one, but TWO dance-off showdowns at the illustrious Zoo Club, both of which involve jean vests and nunchucks.
There's a montage sequence roughly every 5 minutes, whether it be "fixin' up the old apartment" or "training for the Shootout." The spunky kids infiltrate a 4-star restaurant just to bust some moves (How did they sneak into a black-tie establishment wearing brightly colored spandex unitards? -Who cares!). There's product placement for Wishbone Blue Cheese Dressing and prominently displayed posters of Rod Stewart and Duran Duran. There's an attempted alley rape scene (ending in balls-kicking) that loses a bit of urgency because its scored with reverb heavy 80's drums. Theres a feisty old lady (Irene Worth of DEATHTRAP) who rocks out some blue-spiked punk hair when she goes undercover. There's insanely high kicks, slow motion flying leaps, and an inspirational speech that ends in "WE GOT TO GET...AWESOME!"
In short, it delivers on every inherent promise the 80's dance movie guarantees. And its free-spirited, 'get the hell out of Ohio,' Big Apple dreamin' heart is definitely in the right place. Four and a half stars.