Reckless (1984)

“We’re the kids of America . . .” Serious spoiler alert! Troubled teenage outcast, Johnny Rourke (Aidan Quinn, in his film debut), pursues beautiful and rich cheerleader, Tracey Prescott (Daryl Hannah). However, Tracey is dating Randy Daniels (Adam Baldwin), a wealthy scumbag football player. Tracey’s entire clique hates Johnny. Shit, this is beginning to sound like Valley Girl! Johnny quits the football team and soon hooks up with Tracey in the high school swimming pool. Johnny’s alcoholic father (Kenneth McMillan) dies in a horrible accident at the steel plant. Johnny cleans out his father’s locker and finds news clippings detailing his football heroics. Johnny goes home, sets the house on fire and drives off on his motorcycle. Johnny rescues Tracey from trig class. They roar off into the Pittsburgh sunset (okay, acid rain) to the accompaniment of a classic Bob Seger tune—”Roll Me Away.” Directed by James Foley (At Close Range), Reckless was inspired by Rebel Without a Cause—okay, they stole the idea outright! In addition, all of the high school students look like they are in their ’30s. However, it all works in this classic teen drama that details TEENAGE ANGST with the best of them. Quinn does a great acting job here, one that should have led him on to superstardom. What happened? Hannah has never looked or acted better! McMillan almost steals the show as the crusty, drunken steelworking father. You haven’t lived until you’ve watched Quinn go totally ballistic at the high school dance to the beat of Romeo Void’s “Never Say Never.” Hell, the entire soundtrack is kick ass, featuring the likes of Kim Wilde and INXS! Bruce Springsteen’s younger sister, Pamela, has a small role in the film, as well as Jennifer Grey (in her film debut).

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