brendanross’s review published on Letterboxd:
Here I am. The lifelong defender of Streets Of Fire. I would not and could not disagree with any of the negative things my peers might have to say about this film (e.g. a certain @Jim Van Spader_69 who once said, and I quote, "everything about Streets Of Fire is incredible except the film itself"). Look, I get it. There is no real substance to anything happening here. Nothing bubbling under the surface. It's all just bright neon nonsense and to me it is basically perfect. In fact the only thing that doesn't quite work for me is the incessant bickering between characters, which does become a bit of a drag after a while.
The stuff that does work for me? Pretty much everything else. The music, Diane Lane, the lighting, the rain-slicked streets, Diane Lane, the fabulous editing, the non-stop barrage of familiar actors (somehow every time I watch this I forget Ed Beagly Jr. shows up for a minute and it's always a lovely surprise), Diane Lane, and of course the crazy world it creates that makes it feel simultaneously like it takes place 70 years in the past and 20 years in the future. Oh god and the wardrobe! How could I not mention Willem Dafoe's menacing rubber overalls which, considering pretty much everything in this movie is on fire, would clearly melt and painfully fuse to his body if this were real life.
But, gun to my head, if I had to pick just one thing I love about this movie it's gotta be how low-key queer it is. Torchie's, the rough-and-tumble bar that even the most hardened of low-lives are warned against venturing to is basically just a really happening gay bar. And the fact that McCoy, who reveals herself a lesbian simply by smirking and telling Tom Cody "you're not my type", never has her sexuality brought up again and she and Cody just become platonic motorcycle gang-busting soul mates.
You know what? I take back what I first said. Anyone who doesn't like this movie is wrong.