Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Are we far removed enough from Easy Rider that I can say that my money is on Out of the Blue as Hopper's best work? Because as much as I like Easy Rider and appreciate The Last Movie, this is something else entirely. Linda Manz is a revelation as Cebe (think CB radio or CBGBs), the punk rocker daughter of Dennis Hopper's shambolic alcoholic and Sharon Farrell's hopeless heroin addict. Her father, who recently was released from prison after a harrowing truck accident that Cebe was herself involved in; is no help and neither is her mother. Despite being a teenage punk, Cebe has a better grip on the world around her than the substance abusing parental figures she has, even though her closest confidante is a teddy bear and she repeatedly sucks her thumb aimlessly. Torn between the punk world that recognizes her nihilism and statements (Disco sucks) and her family who continue to circle the drain, it culminates in a shocking, upsetting last act with a cathartic ending not unlike the blasts of violence that erupted at the end of Easy Rider; although this has more narrative cohesion. All of the performances across the board are superb, least of all Hopper's character who would nearly steal the film any other day (his confrontation with one of the deceased children's fathers is electrifying) but Linda Manz is the anchor of this film and portrays one of the most effective child characters I've ever seen in a film. A real gem of a film.