Warner Bros. | Release Date: February 15, 1985 CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION
Mixed or average reviews based on 12 Critics
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The sweet, funny, funky screenplay by Darryl Ponicsan (from Terry Davis's novel) is beautifully directed by Harold Becker ("The Onion Field," "Taps"), who gets performances so true and winning from his actors that you're smiling through the entire film. [25 Feb 1985, p.85]
Vision Quest survives by means of a few powerhouse weapons. One of them is Darryl Ponicsan's screenplay, adapted from the novel by Terry Davis, that tells the story with restraint, tenderness and a solid respect for theme. Another is director Harold Becker, who succeeds, most of the time, in touching the sensitive nerves of this tale without fraying them. Best of all are a couple of winning performances: Matthew Modine as a high school wrestler intent on beating an unbeatable state champ and Linda Fiorentino as the hard-as-nails drifter who wanders into his life. [15 Feb 1985, p.J]
Washington PostClay Warnick
The one bright spot in this film is Modine's performance as Louden. Modine is so earnest and likable that even the oft-seen "big match" climax holds your attention. But a fine leading performance and a muscle-bound villain can't rescue this trite tale.ick. [15 Feb 1985, p.30]
It must be the only movie ever made in which the hero's immediate goal in life is to wrestle in a different weight class. The film treats this event with all the fake reverence tabloid feature writers use to describe disabled people who learn to paint with their feet or mother dogs who swim across lakes to rescue endangered litters. [15 Feb 1985]
It does contain some curiously overwrought dialogue. People say "Go for it!" a lot, but then Louden will observe, with the bright eyes of a man on the edge of a modest revelation: "The nice thing about working out all the time is that you have a lot of nocturnal emissions." Don't laugh; this line actually stirs something deep inside the heroine, and Carla's eyes, like the sensibilities of an entire audience out in the seats, go suddenly, irretrievably soft. [16 Feb 1985, p.C7]