Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Angel Heart (1987)

Director: Alan Parker

Starring: Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet, Charotte Rampling, Stocker Fontelieu, Brownine McGhee, Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Whitcraft, Eliott Keener, Charles Gordone, Dann Florek

More info: IMDb

Tagline: It will scare you to your very soul.

Plot: In 1955, in New York, the small time private detective Harold Angel is summoned by the attorney Herman Winesap to meet his client Louis Cypher. Angel learns that a popular pre-war crooner, Johnny Favorite, had a contract with Cypher and vanished; Cypher offers a large amount for him to seek out Johnny. Angel heads to a clinic where Johnny was last seen and visits the addicted Dr. Albert Fowler, who tells that Johnny was shot in the face and arrived in the clinic with amnesia and dysfunctional. One day, a man and his daughter took Johnny with them and he was paid to forge the records. When Angel visits Dr. Fowler again, he finds him dead. Then he visits Johnny's former lover Margaret Krusemark expecting to find the location of Johnny and later the woman is murdered. Then he visits the musician and former partner of Johnny, Toots Sweet, and the man is killed immediately after. Angel leaves a blood trail behind, but when he meets Margaret's father Ethan Krusemark, he finds the doomed fate of Johnny Favorite.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

It's funny how an ending can almost ruin a movie.  Mickey Rourke is fantastic.  He was a very good match for the film, the look of it and the environment that was created.  I REALLY liked the look and feel of the mid 50s New York and New Orleans.  Trevor Jones' score hits all the moody beats.  There are also a lot of bodies that start piling up.  So what you've got here is a Noir-ish thriller with a supernatural slant and it works...that is until the end.  I didn't care for the long, drawn-out explanation at the end that fills Harry (Rourke) and us in on what really happened.  There was an awful lot of information that's thrown out very quickly but it seems to go on and on to the point where it felt like a cheap way out of finishing a story.  How else would they do it?  Beats me but that's how I feel about it.  I've got a strong hunch that this method of bringing the 'revelation' out to explain directly inspired James Wan for SAW (2004).  It's been a long time since I saw this, probably over twenty years.  I remember the stir it caused on its release because Lisa Bonet got naked.  Naturally, I don't have a problem with that but I did find it strange that there was no hint of a Louisiana accent from her character.   ANGEL HEART is a good flick on so many levels but the way the ending was handled kind of took the wind out of its sails.  I could have watched Rourke putz around in that world for hours.  I will make an exception to watch this again if I can see it in a theater. 

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