Quicksilver Blu-ray Review
The 1980s was the decade of big hair and bad music (especially where many film scores are concerned – the invention or sudden taking to synth was nearly the death of many a Maestro). Films are an interesting art form because, unlike music, they represent in a audio AND visual way the tone of the world – what people liked, what they didn’t, how they dressed and groomed, how they talked… there are many little morsels you can enjoy when you sit down to watch a movie, generally that enhance the story in some way. Many movies from the 1980s, though, go too far by spending too much time on style, now badly dated, and not enough of competent filmmaking. Many movies from the era also have some kind of slant about materialism, commercialism, and our need to accumulate wealth and belongings. QUICKSILVER (1986, starring Kevin Bacon) is a perfect example of this problem with very little in the way of redeeming qualities.
The story of a high profile stockbroker gone broke, QUICKSILVER features Bacon in the leading role of Jack Casey; his first major film since FOOTLOOSE was released in 1984. After Jack ruins his career and loses everything (including his family’s retirement) on a bad bet in the stock market he’s forced to rethink his life. He decides to start working as a bike messenger, which you’re supposed to believe is credible because of a quick opening scene in which he tries to race a messenger while in his cab. That’s apparently pretty much all the reason he needs, but of course he’s amazing at his new job and is accepted by his brothers immediately.
The messengers all work for a central company doing regular deliveries for businesses all across New York City, but the money is terrible and they all dream of a better life. For some this means taking jobs from local drug dealers while others dream of finding different jobs or going to back to school. But they all seem to love what they do. When a new messenger named Terri (Jami Gertz from TWISTER) joins the male-dominated business she attracts the attention of some local ne’er do wells in addition to making an impact on Jack. His friendship with Terri and his relationship with fellow messenger Hector (Paul Rodriguez) help him realize he has been running away from his problems and Jack slowly begins to reclaim control of his life.
I hope it is clear from the above plot summary, but just in case – THERE IS NO POINT. There is very little at stake during QUICKSILVER and the conflict all feels forced. Some of this is due to the fact we never really get to know the characters but more blame is due to the shoddy acting and completely inarticulate direction of veteran TV man Thomas Michael Donnelly. QUICKSILVER hopes to garner investment through Bacon’s charm alone that actually works for a few minutes but quickly loses steam when we learn that Mr. Jack Casey really doesn’t have any real redeeming qualities. Giving a character traits like this has worked with good writing but it never really goes anywhere here leaving the audience wondering what they are watching and for whom they are supposed to root.
I started off writing about the decade in general but it is worth noting that the 80s, and 1986 in particular, gave us some incredible films. Just look it up and you’ll find things like PLATOON, ALIENS, STAND BY ME, BLUE VELVET and even FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF. 1986 yielded some timeless classics of American cinema… but this isn’t one of them. It’s not even close. I’m assuming the release of QUICKSILVER was timed thanks to the recent release of the newer bike movie PREMIUM RUSH – but in all areas where that one soars QUICKSILVER lacks. If you’re in the market and enjoy this type of movie, I would highly suggest the new one and avoid this one at all costs.
QUICKSILVER BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p Widescreen 1.85:1) The video on QUICKSILVER looks nice and is fairly immersive despite the horrible story.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0) QUICKSILVER lacks any special features so there is plenty of space for audio and visual decadence. The audio track is filled with pop tracks, many of which you’ll recognize, and the mixing and editing are great.