Movie Review By Blue Velvet
In the late 1970's, New York City's glittering nightclub, Studio 54, was at its height of institutional disco greatness. Catering exclusively to the cultural elite, celebrities, models, and anyone who possessed riveting allure, Studio 54 sizzled with disco, sex, drugs, and glamour. In Mark Christopher's new film called '54,' Christopher barely upholds the action by using a gorgeous cast and some half-truths to help cover up the film's lame plot and flat dialogue.
'54' follows a naive New Jersey teenager named Shane as he sheds his suburban roots to hotly pursue the excesses and pleasures at Studio 54. With a rippling physique and a dreamy face, golden boy Shane played by Ryan Phillippe immediately becomes a favorite of Steve Rubell, the owner and king of Studio 54. Played by Mike Myers, the charming middle-aged Steve rakes in bags of cash and controls his discodom with a crocodile smile and an acute business sense. Shane narrates the film, telling us the behind-the- scenes info like how people gained entrance to the club, what each floor of the club represented, and the importance of achieving bartender status. In a sub plot Selma Hayek and Breckin Myer portray a married couple who work in the club's low-end jobs. Like Shane, they too fuel their ambition with their youth and good looks. Also Neve Campbell plays a young beautiful soap opera actress from Jersey who captures Shane's heart.
If you think disco sucks, you'll think worse of '54'. In a major oversight, the film neglected to mention that Steve Rubell co-owned the club. Yet Steve Rubell's wild flair, the disco, the trends and the name-dropping at least add laughable camp amidst the tepid plot. Oddly enough, the photos in the closing credit sequence capture more 70's spirit than the entire film.
© 1998 - Blue Velvet - Air Date: 09/02/98
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