It’s hard to know what the director and screenwriters (Walter Hill is one) were thinking making Blue City. It’s difficult to imagine, based on what’s on screen, that this thing could ever have had a shot at being decent.
The main character, Billy (Judd Nelson) is an unsympathetic asshole, the supporting characters are wafer-thin (not that Billy’s much thicker), and the story is thinner than the characters.
Plus, at 83 minutes (including credits) it shows signs of significant post-production tinkering. This movie was obviously supposed to be around the 105-110-minute mark, but the producers and studio realized they had a total shitshow on their hands and cut it to pieces.
Billy (Nelson) returns home after a five-year absence, discovers his father, the mayor, has been murdered, and the police have no leads. Billy decides to solve the crime himself, and with absolutely zero evidence, he decides a shady local club owner did it.
Aside: Count how many times Nelson says “killed my father.” It’s more times than Kris Kristofferson says “death list” in Heaven’s Gate.
Billy hooks up with his old pal David Caruso (who has a beef with the club owner), and they rob the place, shoot it to shit and generally wreak havoc. When he’s not waving a gun around like a guy who’s never held a gun, Billy bones Ally Sheedy, Caruso’s on-screen sister and a convenient plot device – she works in the city records office.
The acting is wretched, except for Caruso and Paul Winfield as the police chief. (Caruso does that tough-guy thing here that he perfected in “NYPD Blue”.) But scenes begin and end haphazardly – there’s so much ADR, dissolves and fades to black – that it’s clear this was a bigger story. What’s left is just worthless shit, a prime example of how NOT to make a movie. It’s a Walter Hill tough-guy piece without the story to explain the tough guys.
Plus, Billy’s character is a slimebag POS and Nelson plays him with no panache or charm or wit – he’s just a dick. Ry Cooder’s music ain’t half bad, tho, even if it sounds so much the ‘80s you’ll dream of big hair. What a waste.