Director: Simon Wincer
Starring: Mickey Rourke, Don Johnson, Chelsea Field, Daniel Baldwin, Tom Sizemore
When the going gets tough… the tough take the law into their own hands.
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man are two outsiders that have bonded and created a trustworthy friendship over the years. Harley enjoys riding his bike and occasionally get some female company, while Marlboro is a part-time hustler, although a bad one, and a part-time rodeo cowboy who also got an incredibly accurate shot.
They get themself intro trouble with a big time banker, who is providing the streets and making a ton of money with a new drug called “Crystal Dream”. Our boys favorite pub is going bankrupt due to the higher lease that the same bank is putting on the building, so they decide to rob the bank to get back at them and that of course do not go as planned and a deadly fight between the good guys and bad guys starts.
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man is a ultra-macho early 90’s flick that somehow had a high budget of 23 million dollars, which it did not make back in the box office. The plot is of course very stupid, I know these guys are not supposed to be clean-cut mama boys, but robbing a bank because their favorite pub is closing down? A banker running a big drug trade?
It does go without saying that this could end up being a guilty pleasure if you saw it at a young age like I did, but it’s not a movie that holds up very well over time. The bad guys are very cringeworthy, walking around in kevlar jackets and being fronted by Daniel Baldwin (Vampires, A Darker Reality) of all people.
Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler, Sin City) is cool s Harley, while Don Johnson (Tin Cup, Machete) seems to be aware of how silly this film is and does not put a lot of effort into being the Marlboro Man. They are not quite bad ass enough to make this movie very enjoyable and perhaps with a better script they would have turned in a better performance. The supporting cast are filled with other known actors such as Tom Sizemore (Dreamcatcher, Big Money Rustlas) as the evil banker slash drug dealer Chance. The females are well represented by the always good looking Kelly Hu (The Scorpion King, Cradle 2 The Grave), the equally hot Tia Carrere (True Lies, Wayne’s World) and even Vanessa Williams (Eraser, Soul Food) all have minor roles.
Simon Wincer is the guy who was supposed to make this work. His previous experience from TV and a few minor movies did not seem to help him out here and they should probably have gotten a guy with more experience in action movies for this film. After this flopped at the box office, Wincer went on to do the crappy Phantom, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles and smaller movies.
Even though I’ve been very negative so far towards the movie it does work as a guilty pleasure along the same lines as Road House and other silly but fun action movies. It doesn’t quite have the same charm as the best of them, but Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man is an okay movie to watch. If you do have great memories of it from your childhood however, then don’t ruin it by watching it again in your adult life.