Passion Play

16 May

Title: Passion Play
Year: 
2011
Director: 
Mitch Glazer
Writer: Mitch Glazer
Starring: 
Megan Fox, Mickey Rourke, Rhys Ifans, Bill Murray
MPAA Rating: 
R, language, some sexuality/nudity, violence and brief drug use
Runtime: 
94 min
Major Awards: –

IMDb Rating: 
4.8
Rotten Tomatoes: 
4%

Passion Play is definitely the worst film I’ve seen all year. Which is much more frustrating when you consider this is a film that has Bill Murray, one of my idols, in it. And I know Mr. Murray only did this as an act of friendship, which means he’s one really loyal friend because there’s no way a guy as smart and talented as he is could have read this script and not think that this was pure crap. Mitch Glazer, you see, is the guy who wrote Scrooged, in which Mr. Murray starred in, and the two have remained friends ever since and Mr. Glazer called his friend to help him out with this one, his directing debut.

Mickey Rourke also stars in this one, and he got on board for the same reason, because he wanted to do a solid for his friend. And Mr. Rourke is obviously a guy you can count on to be very candid and speak his mind, which means it came as no surprise when he called this movie for what it was, calling Passion Play “terrible”, which probably counts as one of the few times an assessment done by Mr. Rourke is 100% accurate. This really is a terrible movie, one that didn’t need to see the light of day and that somehow managed to get Bill Murray to star in a truly horrible film, and it’s only his presence the reason why I’m not giving this one my lowest grade.

And now, if you’ll bear with me, I’m going to talk about one of the reasons why I hated Passion Play, and she goes by the name of Megan Fox. If you’re a regular reader you might already know I honestly think Ms. Fox is a truly horrific actress and her beauty is extremely overrated. I mean, yes, the girl has an unbelievable ability at looking stunningly slutty, which actually worked in that first Transformers movie, but I can name of the top of my head a hundred hotter actresses who can act ten times better than she can. She worked her crap all over last year’s Jonah Hex, which I graded a D and finished the year as the fifth worst film I saw in all 2010. And that one was another film that like this one had some really talented actors (Josh Brolin, Michael Fassbender and Michael Shannon were all in that one) but that also had Ms. Fox and ended up being a true crapfest, so I’m more than happy to name her as the common denominator and assign part of the blame to her.

Not all of that blame should fall on Ms. Fox, however, the script is full of nonsense that make you wonder why it got made in the first place. You get this loser guy living the hard knock life in the desert, trying to find redemption in the arms of an angel that lives on Earth. Even typing that made me feel sick because, just you go and re-read that, it even sounds stupid, the fact that it was all shot as this sort of film noir makes it all that much worse, though Christopher Doyle, the cinematographer, actually did a very decent job. But anyways, that’s what we get, Mr. Rourke as a jazz trumpet player who did small-time crimes for the city’s main crime kingpin, which is the character Mr. Murray plays. However, Mr. Rourke’s character, Nate, soon crosses that crime boss, called Happy, and starts going on the run.

And there he meets Ms. Fox’s character, Lily, this sort of angel, a woman with real white bird wings on her back that’s an attraction at a traveling circus. They obviously fall in love quickly enough and they escape the circus together, but then Happy catches up with them, and tells Nate that he won’t kill him but will take Lily and make her sit in a cage at one of his nightclubs. You see what I mean here? It’s all just honestly horrible to watch, it’s unbearable to see two actors as talented as Mr. Murray and Mr. Rourke are go to waste in such a way.

Mr. Glazer just overindulges himself here, the film is completely off as far as tone goes, feels horribly pretentious for the most part and is simply badly directed. This is a guy that should stick to being a screenwriter and not go ahead for a second try at directing, because it clearly isn’t his thing. I guess I can appreciate the fact that he so clearly went all-out, because this was the kind of film that can be either totally fantastic or a total crapfest like it was, and I imagine that counting with your buddies Bill Murray and Mickey Rourke may make it seem as though this one was going to go in the right direction. But it just didn’t. Avoid watching Passion Play, it’s just a truly bad film that lets the talents of a couple of incredible actors go to waste and further cements Ms. Fox’s status as a real bad actress. And if you want to watch it to see a hot girl with wings, then I suggest you download yourself a Victoria’s Secret fashion show, where you’ll get girls insanely more gorgeous and with cooler wings.

Grade: D

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