Tries very hard to grapple with some big themes.
Starring Mickey Rourke, Megan Fox and Bill Murray.
Passion Play tries very hard to be a BIG movie - one with lots of big themes (such as love conquering all, redemption and love causing a person to grow and become more than they were before) but it just falls short. It goes through all of the motions but not enough clicks to make the movie work.
Mitch Glazer wrote and directed this movie and he enlisted his high school friend Mickey Rourke and his wife (Kelly Lynch) to be in the movie. Bill Murray stars as a mafia boss named Happy. Murray puts a spark into nearly every scene and might have the most interesting character in the entire movie - the mob boss with a love for art and beauty. Rourke's character (Nick Pool) is a down and our jazz player that has been sleeping with Happy's wife so Happy orders Rourke to be taken out to the desert and executed. As Pool waits a shot to the forehead the mobsters are killed by Indians who run away into the desert.
Pool runs as well and stumbles onto a creepy carnival in the middle of the desert. He goes into the freak show tent and discovers that the woman with wings display is not fake - she really has wings. The carnival owner has raised her from childhood and both uses and protects her - but he is clear that he will kill to keep her.
Nate and the winged girl Lily (Megan Fox) escape and Nate makes plans to sell her to Happy in order to get back in Happy's good graces. Along the way Pool and Lily fall in love and they work to figure out a way to be together and escape from the carnival owner and Happy.
As I noted, Bill Murray did a great job of playing the ironically named Happy. Mickey Rourke was absolutely believable as the down and out musician - let's face it, he lived it as a down and out actor. But, Megan Fox as Lily was merely a pretty face and attractive body to attach the wings to and there was no spark between the two. I kept wondering what she would see in Rourke's shuffling, sometimes slow-witted character. Since the pivot point of the movie was the love between Lily and Nate and there was just no spark there the movie just flows along on auto-pilot until we get to a conclusion that explains some of the surreal scenes and the heaven and hell references that abound.
I rate this movie 3 stars out of 5.
Reviewed July 10, 2011.
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