© 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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“Ofelia! Magic does not exist. Not for you, me or anyone else.”
-Carmen (Ariadna Gil)
from Pan’s Labyrinth