Retro Review: Gleaming the Cube (1989)
Director: Graeme Clifford
Starring: Christian Slater, Steven Bauer, Richard Herd, Art Chudabala, Min Luong, Ed Lauter, Tony Hawk, Rita Rudner, and Max Perlich
Production: David Foster Productions, Gladden Entertainment
Overall Rating: ***/5
With the rise of films and television shows taking place in the 1980’s, it seems only fitting to review a film from that time frame that still holds up to this day, nearly 30 years later.
“Gleaming the Cube,” also known as “A Brother’s Justice,” is a film filled with adrenaline and excitement. If the film 1980’s film “Rad,” and the game “Skate or Die” had a child, it would be this film.
The film follows the character Brian Kelly (Christian Slater), as he is forced to re-examine his purpose in life after the loss of his adopted brother Vinh (Art Chudabala). Something doesn’t sit right with Brian when he learns of his brother’s suicide.
Brian believes adults and the police are inept, which leads to him investigating the death himself. He learns that many things play into his brother’s apparent suicide. Brian’s unkempt appearance seems to hinder his ability to be taken seriously, so he makes the change from skater to prep.
As his closest friends begin to feel alienated, they leave Brian to his own devices. Brian seeks the help from his brother’s girlfriend, Tina (Min Luong). With her help, Brian finds just how deep the conspiracy goes and that his brother’s death was merely a casualty of circumstance relating to a much larger picture.
In keeping with the films of the 80’s, Brian’s buddies quickly forgive him and help however they can, even if it means borrowing Pizza Hut’s delivery truck, recklessly being driven by Brian’s friend Buddy (Tony Hawk).
This film has its moments of strained or forced acting, and some slightly cheesy dialogue, but overall, it is still a fun film filled with friendship, action, skating, drama, and sprinkled with romanticism and hope.