Hey everybody! What do you think of movies based on Theology? Not to offend anyone, but between "Angels and Demons" "The passion of the Anti-semite" and "Touched by an Angel: with a vengeace," Movies about religion don't usually end up being modern masterpieces. OR DO THEY????
I went into this movie with mixed expectations. While some people I’d spoken to thought it was the next “L.A. Confidential,” others thought it was a tired ripoff of old black and white mysteries. I only knew enough about the premise to assume it was a mystery movie, and that it had Mickey Rourke in it. Which, in general, isn’t a good sign.
A little bit past the halfway point, however, the story simply blew me away. I realized that it had done this, because I soon found my self hitting the opposite wall, propelled by a blast of air. That is why you never screw around with the AC system, kids.
The movie also totally surprised me with a change of pace. “Angel Heart” is an innovative new type of movie, one that mixes two totally unrelated genres into one, fluent narrative.
After an establishing shot of New York in the 50’s, we cut to the decrepit office of Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke) who’s about as good at sleuthing as I am at talking to women. Okay, maybe not THAT bad, but still pretty bad.
Angel has been saving up all his greasiness for a big job, but hasn’t found the right opportunity. Thankfully, he is picked at random out of the phone book by an influential attorney called Winesap. Winesap is representing a Louis Cyphre (Robert De Niro) a mysterious business man, who has an insurance policy on a man named Johnny Favorite. Johnny Favorite was kind of like the Justin Bieber of his day: No talent, but loved by everyone. That is, until a nasty war wound sent him to a mental institution with a permanently damaged face. Am I going to go to hell if I said “I wish that would happen to Justin Bieber?”
Up until now, Cyphre has been able to check on his charge regularly, but due to some trouble at the hospital, he’s no longer able to visit. His Job for Harry: Find out if Johnny is alive, or dead.
After a quick, rudimentary search of the hospital, Harry finds out not everything is as it seems. Johnny was smuggled out of the hospital almost 12 years ago, and escaped to New Orleans. The doctors have been heavily paid to keep this information quiet, and all of Johnny’s known associates insist that he is dead.
And this is where things get nasty. Johnny was apparently really involved in some Satanist, voodoo groups. No, I’m not talking about scientology. Anyways, Johnny’s Satanist friends believe that he is somehow possessed by the devil (I’m telling you, this guy is looking more and more like Justin Bieber every second!) and claim that he is murdering everyone who could prove useful in catching him. And after all the old flames and ex band members are bumped off, Harry Angel’s name floats to the top of the hit list…
What begins as a normal, neo-noir mystery, quickly becomes a horror film, then a fantasy movie, until it finally ends as a psychological thriller, with a twist to rival that of “Fight Club.” Mickey Rourke is perfect for the role: His greasy machismo fits the character well. While De Niro’s role was a bit under played, the atmosphere, ending, and dialogue are great. A good pick for a fan of any of the four genre’s above. 9/10.