REVIEWED
9/5/04

STORY



LOOK

River's Edge
Director: Tim Hunter
Year: 1986
TRT: 1:39


Very worthwhile drama here, with solid acting by the majority of the majors, even Keanu Reeves (played straight as the conflicted stoner teenager). Definitely one of Dennis Hopper's best roles, and freakazoid Crispin Glover as well. Minus a bit of blatant exposition by a teacher and a cop, this is a pretty serious look at a group of teenagers and their varying apathy toward the murder of a girl they know by one of their good friends.

A group of high school kids are thrown into a moral dilemma when their friend Samson (Daniel Roebuck) kills another in their group. The self-appointed leader (Glover) is a bit too revved up for his own good, but his sheer energy and audacity makes him the figurehead in a motley crew of directionless stoners. The only adult figure they get along with is the recluse and somewhat mentally disturbed Feck (Hopper), who supplies them with dope and occasional refuge. It also looks at how the younger brother in Matt's (Reeves) dysfunctional family is growing up to be the ultimate by-product of a wasted generation.

This is a decent flick. I had to go out and smoke an additional cigarette to contemplate what exactly makes this a good film. I guess it lies in the realistic telling of how this group of friends reacts to the murder, and despite only brief glimpses into the majority of their separate lives, you know all of these kids are in the same boat in some way or another.

Great Scene: Single line: "You weren't supposed to get old." While slightly bizarre in circumstance, the whole scene is played beautifully, particularly Hopper's performance.

DVD Notes: Acceptable release by MGM/UA in that the print is fairly decent and it sounds good. Only extras are the trailer and Spanish subtitles.