Blu-ray Review: Quicksilver

Kevin Bacon achieved star status with the release of Footloose in 1984. Given the film’s success, Bacon presumably had many projects to choose from as a follow up. One can only assume that Quicksilver looked better on paper than it turned out on screen. Perhaps best described as a typical 1980’s riches to rags to riches story—a stockbroker loses it all, only to find himself again during his time as a bike messenger. Exciting, huh? It’s no wonder a lot of people fail to mention Quicksilver when going through Kevin Bacon’s filmography.

Jack Casey (Bacon) is a hot shot floor trader on the Pacific Stock Exchange regularly breaking earning records, until one disastrous decision costs him everything, including his blue collar parent’s life savings. Lost and deflated, Jack wanders the streets, apparently trying to make sense of his life. He decides to get a job with a bicycle messenger service. He enjoys the freedom of riding the streets, choosing his routes and not wearing a suit and tie. He even likes some of the people at the messenger service, particularly a spunky brunette named Teri (Jami Gertz) and an entrepreneurial guy named Hector (Paul Rodriguez). Before long, Jack develops a reputation as one of the fastest riders in the city.

QuicksilverDespite its freedoms, being a messenger has its negatives. Jack soon learns that messengers can be as a delivery service for drug dealers and a slimy guy named Voodoo (Larry Fishburne) has begun using Teri as a drug runner. For Teri, this is all part of the job, but Jack clearly has feelings for her and realizes that Voodoo is potentially a very dangerous man.

Meanwhile, in a subplot, Hector dreams of saving enough money to leave the life of a messenger behind and buy a hot dog cart! Wanting to help his buddy out, Jack decides to make a return to the trading floor in a bid to raise enough money to buy the cart. But that’s not all. Quicksilver isn’t satisfied with Jack helping just one friend out on his road back to rediscovering his self worth, he must win a deadly chase with a drug dealer, naturally. After he survives the chase, the movie ends; Jack’s self respect once again apparent.

Unfortunately, Quicksilver never really connects with viewers despite several opportunities. The film’s most touching scene comes early; when Jack must tell his father that he has lost not only all of his own money, but also his parents’ nest egg. His father acts tough and brave, urging him to go back keep fighting. When Jack leaves the house and comes back unexpectedly, he finds his father, head in his hands, weeping. That scene is persuasive. It’s too bad that the filmmakers chose not to explore Jack’s family more; it might have made for an interesting film.

As it is, Quicksilver is a lot of recycled clichés, shot like as though it were a music video for 1980’s era MTV. Kevin Bacon, Jami Gertz, Laurence “Larry” Fishburne and Paul Rodriguez are all capable of much better acting than Quicksilver allows them to demonstrate.

Unlike prior DVD releases, Image’s 1080p Blu-ray release is presented in the proper aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The image itself is rather clean, showing a nice filmic grain. Details look good, though some blurriness is evident in close-ups.  Colors are a bit dull, but all and all, the presentation represents the film’s palette rather well.

The 2.0 DTS-HD master audio track does the job, but it won’t bowl you over. Some of the ‘80s pop songs that pepper the soundtrack sound ragged and thin. Dialogue is clear throughout. English SDH subtitles are included.

There are no special features.

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