God save the kids who live in an S.E. Hinton novel. They’re firecrackers waiting to go off. Hinton’s is a very peculiar vision where adults are basically in the background and kids are left on their own to battle their way into an adulthood that promises them even less.
Most troubled of the kids here is Emilio Estevez as Mark Jennings, a lonely, brooding child anxious to be through with his adolescence. Title refers to his youthful bond with Bryon Douglas (Craig Sheffer). To Mark’s dismay, the friendship is falling apart as Bryon takes on a girlfriend and starts to accept some adult responsibility.
Estevez also wrote the screenplay and as a writer he fails to raise the pronouncements and revelations of youth beyond the mundane. Dark tone is reinforced by cinematographer Juan Ruiz-Anchia who captures well the look of the street, but that’s all one sees. It’s an oppressive world without being particularly insightful.
Central relationship between Estevez and Sheffer does have some touching moments. Kim Delaney is perfectly likable as Sheffer’s girlfriend.