CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.
Film Review: Mickey Rourke, Megan Fox Sleepwalk Through ‘Passion Play’
CHICAGO – Mickey Rourke must be a publicist’s nightmare. In the last few weeks, he’s been going around giving refreshingly honest reviews of his new film “Passion Play,” co-starring Megan Fox, Bill Murray, and Kelly Lynch and opening in New York and Los Angeles today, May 6th, 2011. He went as far as to call the film “terrible,” which might make viewers even more curious before this thing hits DVD at the end of this month. Is it THAT bad? Would Mickey lie to you?
From the very opening scenes, including a slo-mo shot of an eagle as our hero Nate Poole (Rourke) is about to get a bullet in the back, one can tell that “Passion Play” is simply incompetently made. It’s not just the fact that it wallows in cliches almost like someone was trying to win a contest in doing so but even those cliches aren’t presented with any filmmaking skill. From the cheesy score to the nonsensical plot to the half-asleep performances, “Passion Play” is a snooze, never crossing into that “so-bad-it’s-good” territory and, instead, lying in the much-more-painful category of just BAD.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Passion Play” in our reviews section.|
After Poole is saved from execution, he wanders until he finds a carnival in the middle of nowhere. A ringleader (Rhys Ifans) ushers Poole into a world of fire-eaters, freaks, and, of course, a lovely lady who can save our lost protagonist. One of the sideshow attractions happens to be a gorgeous creature named Lily (Megan Fox), who comes off as stripper and savior at the same time. If the symbolism isn’t resonant enough for you, Lily literally has wings. She’s a sex object fallen from heaven — every lost man’s dream come true — and, of course, Nate has to save her.
To do so, he’ll have to keep both of them away from gangster Happy Shannon (Bill Murray, doing a favor for director Mitch Glazer, who wrote “Scrooged” for the star). You see, in those opening scenes, it was Happy who had ordered the execution of Mr. Poole after the musician slept with his wife, and now he wants Lily all for himself. A questionable protagonist, the girl who can save him, and the man who stands in the way. We’ve seen this movie at least a hundred times and, despite some potential in concept and cast, “Passion Play” offers nothing new or worthwhile.
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