Punk rock woo! I love punk rock and I love the style of it even more. I may let my freak flag fly a little lower then I did when I was a kid, but I can relate to wanting to be different, wanting to say FUCK THE MAN and live the anti-establishment life. I never went as far as the two main characters Steve-o (Matthew Lilliard) and Bob (Michael Goorjian), but I definitely lived it mentally if nothing else. Yet another flick from the 90’s (this time late 90’s) but takes place in the middle of the eighties when the punk rock scene was at its full height, even in a place like Salt Lake City Utah.
This is a movie about rebellion, but it is also a movie about the world and all of the fucked up shit that happens. There is some awesome music (obviously) and some great fight/mosh scenes where the punk bands are going nuts and so is the crowd. Side note, I’m a metal head and I love punk, and you’d think that metal shows would be more dangerous. WRONG. Punk shows can seriously fuck you up, that shit will draw blood man. And yeah that is a side note, but it ties into the movie too, because that was what the anarchist life was all about for them. Starting fights and fucking shit up. There is something very macho about the movement, but bad ass chicks (like myself) can feel the appeal as well.
The movie centers around Steve-o and his quest to live the anarchist life. He espouses his opinions on the government and the establishment and how it is all there to keep us down. You know the typical rebellious shit. There are tons of pictures of Ronald Reagan in various states of vandalization. I’m pretty sure good old Ronald was part of the reason punk in the United States freaking existed. Screw him and his trickle down economics which messed our economy up so badly we STILL aren’t recovered. But no need to get into my own political bent in here, but it goes with the spirit of the movie and the characters in it.
We see the evolution of his friends as he navigates life in his early twenties (a time of great transition for most of us, and really a confusing time as well). Steve-O doesn’t always know what he wants, and that is likely why anarchy was so appealing. He just floated through life, and to quote the movie “Well, it’s a crazy fucked up world and we’re all just floating along waiting for someone who can walk on water, man.” The walking on water part being a reference to Sean (Devon Sawa), who accidentally absorbed one hundred hits of acid into his leg while running from the cops. Steve-o and Bob come up on him sitting on a chair outside of his house in the freezing cold not even wearing a jacket. And he asked them how they were walking on water. Ah poor fried Sean. They meet up with him again later, and he’s panhandling because the mental institution just kicked his ass out. It’s actually a turning point for our main character.
SLC Punk is filled with wonderfully quotable quotes, and little nuggets of wisdom from Matthew Lilliard’s character. I like how Steve-o narrates the whole story in a breaking the fourth wall type of style. It’s future Steve, coming from a place of greater wisdom and clarity, after he goes on to be like his parents and become a Harvard lawyer. At least he reasons that he can do more damage from the inside. However the catalyst for the drifting away from punk life was incredibly sad. Also won’t give that away. Watch the damn movie if you haven’t already. Or I’ll kick your poser ass.