Quicksilver (1986) – Thomas Micheal Donnelly

A year before Gordon Gekko was telling us that ‘greed is good’ Kevin Bacon was a broker who crashes and burns, losing his own savings, as well as those of his clients, and his parents. Shaken to his core, he needs to find himself and his confidence again… on the streets as a bike courier.

This one, on its release was a bit of a commercial flop, and while it doesn’t have something for everyone, I enjoy it and I love the cast – Jami Gertz (was there any guy in the 80s who didn’t have a crush on her?), Laurence Fishburne, Paul Rodriguez, and Louie Anderson.

There’s some great camera work, filmed at bike wheel level, of weaving in and out of traffic, there’s music by Genesis co-founder Tony Banks (and an uncredited Thomas Newman), and a fantastic sequence featuring some amazingly performed stunts.

Bacon is Jack Casey, and he slowly finds himself, and re-discovers his confidence, as he interacts with those who fight for every dollar they can make, all in pursuit of a bigger dream, and by becoming one of them he learns to appreciate his gifts more than when he was just a well-off guy playing with numbers.

Happily, the moustache he has at the beginning of the film doesn’t last long, and his awesome hair is in full swing by about ten minutes into the picture. As Casey he begins to connect with those around him, the defensive Terri (Gertz) who is about to make a huge mistake in accepting cash from the wrong person, and Rodriguez’s Hector, who wants to own a chain of hot dog stands, and though it all he finds himself again.

It’s not a standout picture, it’s just a smaller film that has a solid cast.

My introduction to the film was through its soundtrack – I was in a phase, buying any new CD that caught my interest in the little store I was working in at the time. Kevin Bacon was on the cover, I was intrigued by the track listing, and even to this day there’s a track on it I love, Suite Streets, which opens up the film and is a soundscape of busy, populated streets as a the whirring sound of a ten speed snakes from ear to ear, all to a playful, kaleidoscopic musical interlude.

I’ve listened to the soundtrack dozens of times more than I have seen the film, but I gotta tell you, watching Bacon, launching into stardom (he’d just had his breakthrough performance in Footloose) you just know this guy will be able to carry a film. He always comes across as authentic, and sometimes very damned cool, and honestly, I think he’s a severely underrated actor, and one I delight in seeing anytime he pops up on screen.

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