- Mickey Rourke played a genius killer, and showed
his high IQ by raising his eyebrows pompously and looking down his
nose, ala William F Buckley, Jr.
- And if you believe that, we also have Lindsay
Crouse in a performance which we should have nominated for the worst
performance ever from a female with a major part in a major film (I
wasn't aware of it when we did our poll). She wasn't as bad as Kim
Darby in True Grit, or Lily Tomlin in Moment by
Moment, but she was a contender. Playing an FBI agent, she did a
perfect impersonation of what Foghorn Leghorn would sound like if he
were a castrato.
- Anthony Hopkins was supposed to be playing a
kindly, suburban American dad, who screwed up his marriage by being a
pussy hound. (Good casting, eh?) Although he has turned in some of the finest film
performances in history, here he turned in a bellowing, Shakespearian,
overacting performance that would have embarrassed Richard Burton. In
fact, compared to Hopkins in this film, Burton in The Exorcist, Part 2
delivered a masterpiece of understatement.
The movie was based on a 1940's Broadway play by
Joseph Hayes, which had already been turned into a previous film, a 1955
B&W starring an aging Humphrey Bogart. Rourke plays the Bogart role as
Bosworth, a genius, but also a rabid killer who uses sexual control over
his female lawyer to get her to smuggle him a gun into lock-up and leave
him a getaway car at a remote spot. He chooses to hide out in a random
suburban home, and in the process he and his psychotic gang terrorize
Now the truly bizarre thing about the plot is that the
(divorced) suburban couple use the strain and panic behavior of the
hostage situation as a freebie marriage encounter, and she learns to
trust her lying, philandering ex-husband more than a crazed sociopathic
killer. Whoa! That was some breakthrough, eh? Too bad The Mickster was
gunned down in the end, because he could have had a great future career
as a marriage counselor.
The dialogue was even stranger than the acting, and in
fact probably explains why the acting was so eccentric. Some of the
dialogue was retained from the 1940ish original, and it made no sense
in the 1990's. The female FBI agent never said anything that made any
sense through the duration of the movie, but she certainly found
colorfully cliched ways to say it all. Imagine a female version of Jon
Lovitz doing the quaintly anachronistic Master Thespian, and you'll
have the general idea.
Believe it or not, this
film was directed by Michael Cimino. No wonder the guy can't get the
bankroll for a decent film any more. Every time he gets another
chance, he comes up with something like this.
- with their dollars: only $2.7 million
guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence, about like three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, about like two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, about like two stars from the critics.
Films under five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film, equivalent to about one
and a half stars from the critics or less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
guideline: A means the movie is so good it
will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not
good enough to win you over if you hate the
genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an
open mind about this type of film. C means it will only
appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover
appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you
like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if
you love the genre. F means that the film is not only
unappealing across-the-board, but technically
inept as well.
Based on this description, this
film is a C. The genre is "entertainingly bad movie". The movie
is complete crap, but it is a wonderful genre parody. I laughed
all the way through it, even more than I laughed at Roadhouse or
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man. Highly recommended if you
like to make fun of bad movies with bizarre overacting.
Otherwise, avoid it like the plague.