Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Jack (Kevin Bacon) is a stockbroker. Not a very good one. In just one day he manages to lose his parents' entire life savings. Diversify, Jack, diversify! It's not pleasant when Jack returns home to break the bad news to his old man.

Then suddenly Jack is a bike messenger. I think maybe there is a missing reel of film somewhere. One moment Jack is telling his father he's lost everything, next thing he's pedaling down the streets of L.A. with no explanation as to what's happened in between.

At Quicksilver Messenger Service it is Terri's first day. She is introduced to her new co-workers who all have clever little names like Teddy Bear, Airborne, Apache and Hector. But it's Voodoo who she's most interested in. Voodoo (Laurence "Don't Call Me Larry" Fishburne) always has cash, because he's willing to do the occasional delivery job for Gypsy, the local black-market gun dealer.

Terri (Jami Gertz) also witnesses lots of clever antics by Jack and his fellow messengers. There are a lot of scenes of bike stunts (Look, Ma, no hands!), races, and feats of dexterity, all set to Giorgio Moroder-produced pop tunes. If you like to watch people on bikes ride in circles and hop around on their rear tires, this film is a sure-fire winner.

When Voodoo double-crosses Gypsy, he's killed and Terri is quickly recruited to replace him. Halfway through the film and a plot finally starts to develop. When Jack realizes Terri is in trouble he does the only thing he can: He returns to the stock market and raises enough cash to help Hector buy a hot dog cart. It's up to Apache and company to defend Terri.

But amid all the turmoil Terri runs to Jack's warehouse/home, Gypsy in tow, and forces a confrontation between the two. Another extended chase scene follows, with Gypsy in his car and Jack on his bike dueling it out on the mean streets of L.A.

This film is a mishmash of bike stunts, disconnected plot points, and stupidity, all strung together with a pop soundtrack. There isn't much here to recommend, unless you like bike stunts set to horribly outdated music. If that's your thing, track this film down. Otherwise avoid like a flat tire.

Directed by Thomas Michael Donnelly • PG • 1986 • 105 minutes

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