Archives for posts with tag: Mickey Rourke

Many of my reviews are facetious, but “Man On Fire” (2004) is too good to deserve that. It’s also too dark for some people to like or understand. I think that says more about those people than about the movie itself. It’s beautiful and ugly, jarring and tender, bloody and ethereal. Denzel Washington, an alcoholic former (CIA?) assassin, turns up in Mexico. His paramilitary buddy, Christopher Walken, helps him get a job as a little girl’s bodyguard, setting off a story of vengeance, amorality, justice and classic movie lines. Forgiveness? That’s God’s job. Denzel’s just there to arrange the meeting.

What if you made a Brazilian tourism video that was also soft-core porn? (Redundant?) What if a Trump-like mogul used real estate deals to mask the fact he’s a closet perv? (Redundant?) What if you had Jacqueline Bisset and Carre Otis in tank tops? (Redundant?) Well, that’s pretty much all there is to “Wild Orchid” (1989), an early version of filmmaker Zalman King’s safe-for-soccer-moms style of screen screwing. This film is basically a practice run for every episode of “Red Shoe Diaries” and all the Skinemax ripoffs that followed during the 1990s (I mean, not that anybody was complaining). Redundant.


Once upon a time, critics ooohed and aaahed over actor Mickey Rourke’s gifted portrayals of lowlifes. Turns out he was a gifted lowlife portraying an actor. “Barfly” was made in 1987 when the critics were still fooled. It helps that the film includes Faye Dunaway, another darling of the elite scribes. It’s an ugly movie about an ugly topic. Rourke’s a drunk – who may also be a writer – but is mostly a drunken loser surrounded by like kind. The film would try to convince you there’s some poetry in the ugliness. In some ways, it’s a metaphor for Rourke himself.