Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Heartbreak Ridge 1986

"Why don't I bend you over the table there ... send you home with the "I just pumped the neighbor's cat" look on your face" --Tom Highway (Clint Eastwood)

Maybe you all haven't heard of Heartbreak Ridge before, but it's one of those gems found on VHS at the Winter Park Library that hisses while you watch it. I don't know why I was the only one laughing in the room while Clint Eastwood kicked all kinds of ass and spat out quotable dialogue galore. Whose ass did he kick, you ask? Well, in the sunset of his character, Tom Highway's career as a marine, he whooped up on dirty hippies, liberal college nerds, paper-pushin 'play-by-the-rules' generals, bitches, bikers, riff-raff, and, in the final conflict, West Indians sporting Russian-bought AK-47's.

Highway whips his platoon into shape by teaching them how to improvise like marines of old. He plays by nobody's rules, and calls out orders in a scratchy, old western voice as if he was a three pack a day smoker since the age of six. In his fighting experience, Highways considers his record to stand at 0-1-1. No wins, a loss in Viet Nam, and a tie in Korea. But, after the 1983 invasion of Grenada, Highway records a victory.

Dr. Boles would have a field day putting a queer theory spin on this movie. The lives of the marines seem to revolve around group discussions in the shower, slapping each others chests, and siging along with the long haired, makeup wearing, ear-pierced, flashy dressing, rock star turned marine named Stitch Jones, played by Mario Van Peebles. There's even a mud wrestling scene in the middle of the movie to decide which platoon reigns supreme. But, all this girliness only adds to the manliness of Clint Eastwood, who kicks major ass in Heartbreak Ridge.

1 comment:

Vladigogo said...

Oh, don't tease me with the possibilities Paul.