Youngblood

dir. Peter Markle

Series - Retrospective

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Keanu Reeves made his feature-film debut as a Québécois goaltender (!) alongside Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze in this shot-in-Toronto hockey epic.
When American farm boy Dean Youngblood (Rob Lowe, at the creepy height of his man-prettiness) is drafted by the minor-league Hamilton Mustangs, it's his big break and the first step on the road to professional hockey stardom. But while Youngblood is an ace stick-handler, he's less prepared for the Canucks' gritty, physical style of play. The team's on- and off-ice leader Sutton (Patrick Swayze) takes Youngblood under his wing, but when Sutton is seriously injured during a game by a former teammate turned foe, Youngblood regroups back on the farm to get his skills with his fists to match those with his stick. An irresistible mishmash of sports-movie clichés, homoerotic slow motion sequences and unbearable 1980s pop songs, the filmed-in-Toronto Youngblood has attained cult status for its brutal, dimly lit hockey action — and, of course, for marking the feature-film debut of Keanu Reeves, sporting a have-to-hear-it-to-believe-it Québécois accent as the Mustangs' goalie Heaver.