© 1985 Interscope Communications

Turk 182! (1985)

I’m continuing to go through films I remember seeing on TV between the ages of around 10 and 15. Turk 182! was one of those films.

The only thing I really remembered about this film was that Timothy Hutton was a very inventive and highly determined graffitist, and that he drove a very cool Soviet military motorcycle with sidecar. Watching the film again today, I realized that aside from some amounts of charm, there is really not a whole lot more than that. The story of a frustrated young man who launches a campaign to humiliate the mayor of New York after his firefighter brother is injured in the line of duty (but while drunk), Turk 182! tries hard to be a gritty drama, but at the same time it tries to be a coming-of-age flick palatable to teenagers. I probably missed the pretty obvious references to the older brother being a drunk the first time I saw this, as the potentially dramatic themes are watered down a bit too much. This film does offer a snapshot of a pre-Giuliani New York, but it is drawn in strokes that are a bit too broad.

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“Another one of them new worlds. No beer, no women, no pool parlors, nothin'. Nothin' to do but throw rocks at tin cans, and we gotta bring our own tin cans.”
-Cookie (Earl Holliman)
from Forbidden Planet