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Fandango 1985 ***

Writer/director Kevin Reynolds is best known for his big-budget collaborations with Kevin Costner (Waterworld, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), but his first feature shows both director and star working to good effect. Costner plays Gardner Barnes, who hooks up with a group of buddies including Phil (The Breakfast Club’s Judd Nelson) for a road trip to Canada from Austin, Texas circa 1971, with the specter of being drafted to the Vietnam war looming in their minds.  Unlike most coming of age films, Fandango is not based around sex, but instead male camaraderie is the subject; there’s a great scene in which the boys attach the bumper of their car to a speeding train with surprising results. Both Costner and Nelson would become key pop culture figures, and Fandango showcases their talent as an early stage.


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