I find myself in a tough predicament with 'Steel Dawn.' A conundrum really. Shit, maybe even a pickle. You see, I have not actually "watched" this film. I had to force myself to even stomach fast-forwarding through the damn thing. But I'm a huge Patrick Swayze fan. Let me repeat that for all you haters:
I'm a huge Patrick Swayze fan.
From 'Roadhouse,' to 'Point Break,' to 'Red Dawn'... the man has given us gold. The fact that he's fighting pancreatic cancer right now is such a bummer to me. Because, as evidenced by roles in movies like 'Donnie Darko,' Swayze still has much to offer us. And it would be sad if we were robbed of his talents.
Unfortunately, it seems his talents didn't stretch to this 1987, 'Road Warrior' knock-off. And it is here that the predicament takes hold. For while I love Patrick Swayze films... I think I love 'Mad Max' movies even more. And whoever gave 'Steel Dawn' the greenlight, deserves to be dragged out into the street and shot in the face in front of his mail man.
But 'Steel Dawn,' should not have been made Sure, there's no gasoline crisis. There's fast cars and highways. But there IS Patrick Swayze, dressed like a desert punk. He even has a dog, like Max did. And the bad guys, while not quite marauding gangs, resemble something out of a Scorpions video.
This is all I'll say about the film. I don't care to discuss the plot. But as is my duty here, let me at least discuss the suit-up scene.
Like most suit-up scenes, it comes at a pivotal point in the movie where Swayze's character, simply named "Nomad," has to go rescue some blonde chick with a frizzy hair-do. His suit-up primarily concerns the trademark belt latching and gloves being pulled on shots. Minor points for a decent sword twirl. Negative points for a badly framed pooch. And more lashes for just an overall flat suit-up. The score hints at triumph and derring-do. But it's just a faint whisper. There's no "moments" in this scene. It's just business as usual.
Luckily, it seems Swayze recovered from this mis-step in his career, by bouncing back a year later with the cinematic milestone that was 'Roadhouse.'
Damn, if only Dalton had a suit-up scene.