Vision Quest (1985)

“Vision Quest” is one of those movies that wouldn’t play nearly as well as it does if it wasn’t for the soundtrack. That’s not meant to say that the movie doesn’t work – for all its predictability, it’s remarkably free of any cheesiness or outright cliches, and has the benefit of a solid, sincere lead performance by a young Matthew Modine. The story follows an unremarkable path but it’s never tiresome, and gets pretty compelling once in a while, as director Harold Becker manages to extract a surprising amount of pathos and excitement from the rote storyline. However, it’s the music here that leaves the biggest impression: It’s obvious that the movie is filled with radio-friendly songs to sell copies of the soundtrack, but it gives the finished movie an unmistakable charm. It’s almost impossible not to tap one’s toe to one of the many familiar 1980s tracks here, from Madonna’s “Crazy for You” to Journey’s “Only the Young” to Foreigner’s “Hot Blooded,” all of which are effectively used.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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