Cloud Dancer (1980)

Cloud Dancer (1980)
 
 

Carradine's Cloud Hopping

David Carradine in Cloud Dancer (1980)

Brad Randolph (David Carradine - Crank: High Voltage) as a top aerobatic flier who pulls off moves others daren't even try. But for Brad flying is the only time when all is his issues fade away as whilst mentoring a young pilot he is also concerned about making sure he stays away from the lucrative but dangerous drug smuggling racket. He also has a girlfriend who wants commitment but for Brad that is a big decision as commitment means children and his brother who he loves is handicapped which makes him fear that if he had a child it might have the same gene. But there is also the matter that he has been diagnosed with hyper-tension which puts him in danger when pulling of the daredevil manoeuvres. All of this eventually leads to Brad having to compete in a race when his protege gets in trouble and then learning that the girlfriend who he hadn't seen in a year has had his child in secret.

That synopsis for "Cloud Dancer" seems like this is a movie with a lot going on from health issue, emotional issues as well as bad guys to contend with. But in truth the plot is weak with weak dialogue, weak drama and to be honest whilst I like David Carradine some weak acting. To put it simply compared to other movies even from the era "Cloud Dancer" struggles and now also has the aspect of looking dated.

But "Cloud Dancer" has some of the most spectacular flying cinematography that you end up forgiving it many of its inadequacies because when we are in a plane it blows you away. The opening scenes which sees Brad competing not only has some brilliant exterior shots of planes doing daredevil rolls, climbs and dives but we also have in flight footage of Brad in the cockpit. And this is where it impresses the most as we see the g-force on David Carradine's face as the plane climbs or dives whilst the clouds roll by. If the cinematography of the planes was not fantastic "Cloud Dancer" would frankly be a dirge.

What this all boils down to is that "Cloud Dancer" has many short comings as a movie but for those who like movies about planes this has some seriously impressive cinematography which makes it worth while.

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