Francis Ford Coppola has decided to be an expressionist, but the style of this 1983 film—which comes from Murnau by way of David Lynch and Eraserhead—is so overblown in relation to the trite romantic themes Coppola has to express that the project becomes ridiculous. Matt Dillon is a searching, confused teenager in a nameless, rotting city-of-the-near-future, trying to come to grips with the influence of his older brother Mickey Rourke (which isn't easy because he—aka the Motorcycle Boy—appears to be Jesus Christ). The action is clotted and murky, and Coppola obviously hasn't bothered to clarify it for the members of his cast, who wander through the film with expressions of winsome, honest befuddlement. With Vincent Spano, Diane Lane, Diana Scarwid, Nicolas Cage, and a moment or two of amazing naturalism from Dennis Hopper.
By Dave Kehr