Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Looking for a way to distract myself while reading over a few papers I came across the Kevin Bacon movie "Quicksilver" from 1986.  In short, he is a trader who blows a margin call and becomes a bike courier to make ends meet.  Lots of sweet '80s-style bike moves, some bike-mount camera action, '80s music, big hair . . . .  Among other things -- does anybody else remember when wearing net bike gloves when not actually biking was cool?

I care little what you say:  I like Kevin Bacon movies.  Footloose was objectively awesome.

Quicksilver feels a tad like American Flyers.  Kevin Bacon even starts off with a Kevin Costner-as-Marcus mustache.

It also boasts a very young Paul Rodriguez and Laurence (back then, "Larry") Fishburne.

He encounters a bike messenger who wows him by beating Bacon's cab in a race.  (Video dubbed in Spanish.)

Later that day he loses it all.  He spends his last few bucks on a thrift-store fixie.  Only in the '80s was a classic fixie available in the thrift-store window!

He apparently has a girlfriend who is a dancer.  Here is Bacon's character joining her for a dance workout.

This next scene has some sweet '80s moves. It feels like the old-school skate tricks, performed on some nice rides.  A good number of brooks saddles and up-turned bars here.  I also love the bar tape, which I remember all too well.  You finished a bar-wrap in those days by heating the end of the tape and sticking it together.  It never worked.

Then a few good riding scenes.  Note that sometimes the bikes are fixes and sometimes they can coast.

And, of course, Bacon's character gets into it with some shady characters.  One such encounter produces this car chase.

In addition to a cheesy plot and some cool riding, there are lessons in financial transactions.  Seriously. I'm pulling parts of this movie into my Secured Transactions or Bankruptcy classes in future semesters.

Ultimately, Kevin Bacon becomes the white knight, taking care of his parents, his buddy, and the orphan girl.  That last relationship produces the night-time chase scene above.  The buddy and parents lead to the trading scene which is reminiscent of Caddyshack:  "Buy, buy!  They're buying?  Then sell, sell!"  Bacon's character hits it big by doing everything exactly opposite the grain and getting lucky.  Somehow that makes him a wunderkind trader.

So I take it back.  Together with American Flyers and Breaking Away, there are apparently three '80s biking movies worth watching.

Available on Netflix.  Have at it.

1 comment:

sam said...

Interestingly Netflix doesn't show as being available for me. Nor Amazon prime.

It does look like a compelling movie, if only to see that cycling attire in the 80s consisted of berets and knit legwarmers.

And that cab-race scene reminded me of the scene in Breaking Away with the hero chasing the semi truck (who indicates with hand signals that our hero is pedaling at 55 mph (I'd love to see that chainring!).

I've not yet watched this all the way through, but in the same vein:

Or of course Brunelle's other adrenaline videos, this is a nice one: