Gleaming the Cube (1989) Review

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Leave any preconceptions at the door, sit back and give Gleaming the Cube a chance. The premise doesn’t sound the stuff of movie magic, with a teenage skater investigating the death of his adopted-brother, but if you are willing to suspend your disbelief, there is a little gem of a movie here.

The first hurdle to overcome is a young Christian Slater being a fairly irritating skater. He uses the 1980s slang, dresses as you’d expect a stereotypical skater to dress and causes slightly underwhelming trouble for his local community. So far, so annoying.

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Skater Slater is annoying

The second irritation is the rest of the script being below par too. There is a strangely written relationship between Slater’s main character and his adopted brother who gets himself into trouble and ultimately murdered. You then have Slater acting out in a “typical teenage rebellion” sort of way, skating away his problems, not listening to authority and eventually deciding to investigate the death himself when nobody else will.

There is a lot of this movie which will either illicit an eye-roll or a laugh at the ridiculousness but you will also find yourself interested. The charm of the movie helps keep you invested. There is some pretty decent action, with a great skate-chase, some gunfights and a finale which passes over into ilogical but somehow keeps within the charm of the overall movie.

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There is a charm to how silly the movie really is

The key is that Gleaming the Cube almost knows exactly how silly it is and works within that. It knows when to poke fun at itself but also plays some of the more stupid elements completely straight because if it did anything else it would buckle under the self-awareness. This won’t be remembered as a Christian Slater triumph or even remembered as a Slater film at all but as a decent skater movie… perhaps.

Overall, Gleaming the Cube manages to take a ridiculous premise, some poorly written dialogue and an illogical story and produce something quite fun and enjoyable. It won’t stay with anyone but once the movie starts, there is plenty to enjoy here.

Rating – 3

(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)

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Enjoyable while it is on…
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4 comments

  1. Dude…I loved this movie! This came out during the dawn of the “extreme” movement that would soon infect EVERYTHING during the ’90s. Hell, I owned a skateboard and I lived in the sticks without an inch of concrete to skate on, LOL. Still, my favorite part is when the gang of skaters is coming over the horizon (with Tony Hawk driving the Pizza Hut truck), and the bad guy fearfully says “Oh My God”. Classic!!!!! Thanks for the RAD review!!!

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