This review was originally written for French Toast Sunday as part of my USA Road Trip feature.
How much of an introduction do I really need to give Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? I’m hoping none but, as much as it pains me to say, there’s probably a few unenlightened souls out there who have yet to discover the wonder that is this film. Ferris (Matthew Broderick) is an unimaginably popular and enterprising teenager who, one day, decides to pretend to be ill and skip school. It’s something he’s perfected into an art form – this is far from his first game of hookey – but this time he’s roping in his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) and hypochondriac best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck). Once the gang has been assembled and Ferris has “borrowed” Cameron’s father’s prized Ferrari, the trio head to Chicago for the best day they’ll ever have. Meanwhile, Ferris’ sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) and the school’s Dean, Mr. Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) both suspect Ferris to be faking, and set about trying to bring him down. Continue reading →
100th film! Although really I’d have preferred it to have been the 50th, seeing as it’s about a bus, rigged with a bomb that activates once the bus reaches 50 miles per hour, detonating should the buses speed drop below 50. The planter of the bomb is Dennis Hopper’s vengeful psychotic ex-cop Howard Payne, angry at Keanu Reeves and Jeff Daniels’ foiling of his first elevator-based hostage situation and eager for a paycheck he feels he’s been cheated. But you don’t care about the motive or who’s behind it, as Payne tells Reeves’ Jack Traven, “Your concern is the bus.” Whenever the film detracts from this central conceit, be it following the non bus bound cops trying to track down Payne or Hopper himself watching the action unfold on the ever present media, the pacing immediately slackens, so enticing is the central plot.