Johnny Be Good - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Johnny Be Good Reviews

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April 20, 2016
it is possible to be so bad it is good as most know. Paul Gleason alone especially when they are at his house makes this enjoyable
July 21, 2015
Holy steaming pile of trash. Johnny Be Good is really bad. Anthony Michael Hall had two films in the 80's that come to mind when it came to his attempt to escape the typecast role of the nerd. One was Out Of Bounds, which kind of worked, and the other is this, where he plays the jock type. However, his casting in this role is a big problem. Watching AMH in this role is like a guy trying to be somebody they're not. I suppose he gives his best shot at being a snarky jock football star, but no matter how you look at it, it's ill-suited and awkward. This is film is a comedy without the comedy, just tasteless humor or humor that is questionable at what it was really trying to do. You watch scenes, and sit there wondering "Was I suppose to laugh at this?" Johnny is an unlikeable character who has everything go his way and who acts sort of asshole-ish and cocky, and even his morale moments can't save his character. Robert Downey Jr. plays his most awkward role yet as the oddball friend who literally does NOTHING but spurt out odd phrases and bizarre stories that come off mentally absurd. Not even Paul Gleason can do enough, minus him smashing a water tank with his own hand which made me laugh. I get that the film exposes the absurdity of how far colleges will go to throw materialism at students to join their schools on football scholarships, but it amounts to nothing realistic and has no merit. It aims for laughs with some distasteful antics that go nowhere. I love 80's comedies, and I like AMH and Robert Downey Jr. (watch him in Back To School, plays a more likeable weirdo in that film), but this film was a stinker and could've killed his career. Stay away.
½ May 9, 2015
What struck me about watching this film again is the presence of a black head football coach in the NCAA way back in 1988 (the vastly underrated Steve James), which is still (virtually) non-existent 20 yrs later. Blistering cover by Judas Priest of title song. Uma looks good in her major-picture debut. Howard Cosell and Jim McMahon offer cameos.
April 15, 2015
The studio had to know this horse $hit wasn't going to get very far.
March 30, 2015
Entertaining and fun movie
December 4, 2014
Awful. Note able only for the film debut of Uma Thurman.
November 2, 2014
one of my all time fav movies...
October 27, 2014
Don't know what everyone's problem is with this movie......it was a great 80's flick....was funny at times and showed the side of college football recruiting. Anthony M. Hall was great along with Uma Thurman and Robert Downey. By no means is it oscar worthy but it was a good all around film
½ September 7, 2014
Pretty awful 80s comedy where Anthony Michael Hall attempted to shed his dorky Sixteen Candles/Breakfast Club image. Hall is a star high school quarterback being heavily recruited by colleges as he also balances his time with friend Robert Downey Jr. and girlfriend Uma Thurman. Where the film goes wrong is that it's pretentious enough to think it's some sort of college football expose, while at the same time wallowing in some very unoriginal and unfunny 80s sex comedy tropes. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against crass 80s sex comedies; "Valley Girl" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" are legitimate classics. The the film as a decent supporting cast that includes Paul Gleason, Seymour Cassel, Jennifer Tilly, Robert Downey Sr., John Pankow, Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon(who I'd totally forgotten about) and John Hawkes as Pizza Boy #1, but the script and direction (mostly an wildly uneven tone) ruins any chance the film had of being endearing. Downey is likable, but he's not in the film enough and Hall is ridiculously self serious. The film is barely watchable, with the exception of Downey, who brings some life to the film when he appears, and the novelty of seeing Uma Thurman before "Dangerous Liaisons" and "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" give the film a barely deserved one and a half stars.
½ August 17, 2014
(First and only viewing - In my early twenties)
July 24, 2014
So Bad it's really bad!
½ July 4, 2014
This piece of shit only gets 1/2 star because the app insists you give some sort a rating. Without doubt one of the wankiest flicks I have ever seen. Michael Hall is one annoying cunt as is Downey Jnr who I really wanted to punch in this face.
½ August 18, 2013
I really can't believe just how bad this was.
½ June 23, 2013
My God! Every single scene in this piece of absolute shit is some of stupidest, humorless, most unrealistic crap ever put on a screen. This movie stars people who either had a successful career prior, or would start one later in life. Either way this movie will definitely, or at least should, haunt them to the grave and beyond.
½ June 19, 2013
It Had Something to Say and Never Said It

This movie is so old that it's "introducing" Uma Thurman. The fact that I say this about a movie from my own lifetime--I was, in fact, in fifth grade at the time--is a little disheartening to me. In fact, technically, this movie meets one of my definitions of a classic. Oh, it basically doesn't meet any of the others, despite the cast, but it is old enough. I find that a little alarming as well, to be honest. To me, a classic film must be at least twenty-five years old. This means, among other things, that [i]Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade[/i] becomes a classic next year, which I really wish I hadn't looked up. However, it takes more than age to make a classic. It also requires things like a compelling story, fine acting, a quality score, and artistic filming. You can be missing one of those, though age is necessary. However, you still need at least a few of the others, and this doesn't have them.

Johnny Walker (Anthony Michael Hall) is the star quarterback of I-Don't-Remember High. (I watched this like three days ago.) Every college with a football program is trying to recruit him. He's a basically decent guy with a best friend, Leo (Robert Downey, Jr.), and a girlfriend, Georgia (Thurman). However, a lot of those offers are awfully tempting. Technically, they aren't supposed to give recruits payment. They're supposed to be amateurs. On the other hand, what the NCAA (later appearing in a cameo by Robert Downey, Sr.!) doesn't know won't hurt anyone, right? So Johnny tours several schools, though at least part of that is that he doesn't know when he'll next get the chance to see more of the country than his hometown. Georgia wants him to just go to State and get a real education as well as playing football . . . and, of course, it won't hurt that he'll be at the same school as she is. However, it gets awfully hard to resist some of those offered incentives.

While I don't think Johnny and Georgia should get married, and I hope she at least plans to wait until after graduation, I do approve of her determination that he should get an education. It's awfully easy for an athlete to coast through college as an athlete and not have to worry about academics, and Johnny gets a quick view of what that can mean when he sees someone (Tim Rossovich) who thought he'd have Johnny's life but got injured and couldn't even pay for college. It's too easy to coast and then end up, well, as a gas station attendant. And the guy still believes that Ol' Tex has taken care of him by getting him that job. Johnny needs something to fall back on, and while he doesn't necessarily realize it just then, a school that's not offering him much may just be the best thing for him. Even leaving aside the shady nature of the offers he's getting, he needs a school that will make him actually work for his grades and give him a diploma worth anything.

It's funny, really, to watch the interaction between Anthony Michael Hall and Robert Downey, Jr., in this, though not in the way that the movie intends. While watching Leo, I found myself wondering exactly which drugs he was on at the time and whether the character was supposed to have been as drugged as the actor. This is no more funny than the supposedly wacky things Leo says. However, it would only be a few years before Robert Downey, Jr., would be a sex symbol, and Anthony Michael Hall has never been one. I mean, when you see him, what do you see him as--Farmer Ted or Brian? (Or, I guess, Gary Wallace, but I've never seen [i]Weird Science[/i].) Apparently, he turned down Cameron in [i]Ferris Bueller[/i] to play this role instead, presumably for the chance to break out of the geeky role. It didn't work. Even when he's bulked up, there's just something goofy-looking about him. He doesn't work in this part, and it's hard to forget certain more recent Downey roles.

Most of what bothers me is what we don't see. Okay, Johnny manages to resist the tempting offers all around him. Including Lawanda Wade (Lucianne Buchanan). He meets Jim McMahon, a football player so famous that even I recognized him. And he resists. Well done, Johnny. He recognizes that the offers he's getting all have drawbacks and risks. And, yes, some of those risks are more personal than others--as attractive as Lawanda might be, there's something unsettling about her determination to sleep with one member of the team for each graduating class. It's never explored, because she isn't a character. She's a hurdle for Johnny to overcome. Leo's problems with his family are there for a joke, as are Georgia's with hers. Coach Wayne Hisler (Paul Gleason) is sleazy, and that's pretty much it. None of these characters get more than one dimension, and without that, the plot is just a series of events that are intended to be funny and aren't. There are a lot of '80s teen movies that I would elevate to classic status, but not this one.
April 27, 2013
I loved this movie when I was a kid and I still enjoy it today. It's an 80's movie all the way and not to be taken too seriously, but it is enjoyable.
November 17, 2012
Just saw it for the first time, what a funny and entertaining movie!!! Really liked it.
½ October 27, 2012
Not much to like outside of cameos from Howard Cosell, Jim McMahon, and a scorching version of "Johnny B Goode" by Judas Priest that would make Chuck Berry proud. Notable for being Uma Thurman's debut.
½ September 23, 2012
The cast lured me into it but the storyline is just plain flat. Nothing interesting happened to the point that I can't even tell which part of the movie was the turning point of it.
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