Picks and Pans Review: Rude Boy
Though redeemed by several blazingly performed songs by the Clash, this woefully disjointed film does not do for punk rock what The Harder They Come did for reggae: illuminate the musical milieu and make the musicians' and fans' dedication comprehensible. The vague plot concerns a loutish London kid who hooks up with the Clash as a roadie. Variously late, drunk and clumsy with equipment, he seems to serve the band only as a pathetic target for physical and verbal abuse. Their continuing tolerance for each other is baffling and, finally, depressing. But then, the characters are so bogged down in anomie they make the ghouls in Night of the Living Dead look like Keystone Kops. Only the concert scenes—which throb with anger, desperation and instrument-flailing violence—make very much sense. Directors Jack Hazan and David Mingay may have been trying to illustrate the social disaffection that gives punk rock its raison d'être, but instead they have succeeded only in turning out a numbing, alienated movie. (R)
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