As awesome as this movie is to get you pumped to take control of the mat with awesome training montage music from Foreigner, Journey, Sammy Hagar, Red Rider and REO Speedwagon, it is a sports movie with a weak sappy love subplot. Directed by Harold Becker, known for such films as Taps which starred a young Tom Cruise, Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn, Vision Quest is a movie for the athlete and not for a cozy date night.
Louden Swain, Matthew Modine, is not just a high school athlete trying to survive his senior season, he is trying to make a name for himself by finding who he is and by doing the unthinkable, beating Brian Shute, who is the top wrestler in Washington and revered like a God. This is not just about a kid growing up, it is his vision quest.
Having wrestled a majority of my time in high school, I instantly loved the movie. I can still remember the stale smell of sweat and rubber mats. The movie starts off with slow pan of Louden jumping rope in soaked sweats. The coach starts the typical “Win one for the Gipper” speech for the beginning of the season, you know what I’m talking about if you ever played a sport.
Louden must first beat the best wrestler in the 178 pound weight class, which is Kuch, in order to wrestle Shute. In order to do so, much drop a significant amount of weight which is a struggle any wrestler can identify with.
After school, practice, and running all day, he is harassed by a male guest at his night time job at a hotel. Then starts his run back home.
Along his journey, Carla, Linda Fiorentino, crashes at his place. This is where Louden’s innocence is apparent and the love part begins.
Insert the first live performance by Madonna and you got yourself a half baked romance!
After the whole romance thing is done, it is now time for Louden to take on Shute. Cue Red Rider’s Lunatic Fringe and watch the madness begin.