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Essential 80's "Business"
on December 28, 2003
Rarely will you find a video store without RISKY BUSINESS. Not only is it a contemporary classic, but it was also Tom Cruise's breakthrough film and a major hit. While reputed to be a very good movie, upon watching it, I found it to be something else. It's an excellent movie.
Tom Cruise plays Joel Goodson, a high-school kid who is just that - a good son. He's responsible, careful, and trusted. But when his parents leave town for the week, Joel decides to loosen up - but after he nervously invites call girl Lana (Rebecca De Mornay) into his house, everyone goes horridly wrong. With only a few days left to go, Joel must raise his grades, make $8,000, get back stolen furniture, and escape from the clutches of Guino (Joe Pontoliano), the killer pimp. Work is hell. And Joel knows it.
This movie is great. It wildly exceeded by expectations, and is much better than it's said to be. Cruise is great - the fact that RISKY BUSINESS is Cruise's first major film is enough to make it worth the watch, anyway; De Mornay is also very good. Paul Brickman's direction has a sort of artistic feeling to it (he also scripted); he has a unique way of creating a film that's funny, erotic, and occasionally suspenseful.
Another wonderful aspect of the film is its terrific soundtrack. It features rockin' songs from such popular artists as The Police, Bob Seger, Talking Heads, Muddy Waters, Phil Collins, and Prince. It also features new music by the hit-making band Tangerine Dream, whose techno, futuristic-sounding score gives the movie an occasionally nightmarish, occasionally unpleasant mood to it - and, of course, the film is about every teenager's nightmares come true.
All in all, RISKY BUSINESS is essential viewing from the 1980's, and it works just as well now as it did then. Tom Cruise's first hit, a terrific soundtrack, and a cult classic - this is RISKY BUSINESS.