F*ck, Yes, Me and Hard
I kind of figured The Wrestler would be Mickey Rourke's swan song. It would have been a particularly lovely coda to his career -- after all the drugging and drinking and carousing and insanity that had proceeded it, to have gone out as The Ram. But like some rusty junkyard truck, there's still a few miles left on the ol' workhorse.
His last few roles have been pretty weak cheese. Whiplash turned to shit quickly, and got a rather ignoble exit from the already crowded house that was Iron Man 2. And I get the feeling that Mickey Rourke was just hanging around the set during The Expendables, and nobody had the heart to tell him he wasn't in the movie or to move so they could get on with the filming. So they just kind of worked him into the plot.
I dig Mickey Rourke, at least as an actor, and so I'd like to see him get some better roles. I'm not saying the dude deserves to playing Clooney or Pitt parts, but there's gotta be better material. And it seems at least he's gotten some more headier roles.
Right now he's promoting his new flick at the Toronto International Film Festival -- Passion Play. It's an odd fucking movie -- Rourke play a down-on-his-luck jazz musician (and is there really any other kind, Mississippi Gary?) who tries to jack the wrong car. He's driven out into the desert to die, but instead he ends up wandering into a traveling circus and falling in love with the winged girl, played by Megan Fox. Bill Murray's some sort of sleazy businessman (and is there really any other kind, Mississippi Gary?) who some how gets involved and then craziness ensues. I mean, if you're playing the truly fucked-up, juiced-up on horse jazzman, Rourke's not a terrible choice. The entire project seems like one of those self-conscious, narcissistically narcoleptic indies with a lot of dark lighting and people staring out windows while half their faces are lit. It's written and directed by Mitch Glazer, who's last major project was The Recruit (Pacino and Farrell) and before that the dreadful 1998 Great Expectations, and before that Scrooged. So I'm not holding my breath. Wah-wah. Here's a clip.
Of course, Rourke's next project actually has me a little excited. According to Variety, he's supposed to play Richard Kuklinski, the famous Jersey hitman known as the Ice Man. Did anyone else see those fucking interviews he did on HBO? That dude was a seriously creeped out, cold fucking stone motherfucking killer. He's claimed to have killed over 250 guys for the Five Families. The movie is based on the book by Philip Carlo, and the script's being penned by David McKenna, who wrote Blow and American History X. And while Rourke looks nothing like the massive ghoulish killer, he's a fucking great choice. What always fascinated me about the story is that Kuklinski was family man who had the usual shocked neighbors. I never knew how much of his story was bullshit exaggeration and how much was real. But I'm feeling that McKenna's script is going to be pretty goddamn fierce.
Rourke's got a couple more projects set up. He's allegedly going to be playing Baby Face Nelson in the alternative history comic book feature Pretty, Baby, Machine -- a project also rumored to hold so much awesome I don't want to mention the cast in the accidental chance that I jinx it. Fuck it: Gary Oldman, Jason Statham, and Ian McShane. One's Pretty Boy Floyd, Rourke's Baby Face, and McShane's Machine Gun Kelly. Which means, Oldman may be playing Capone? Fuck, yes, me and hard.
I just hope Rourke's keeps more shit like this in the kitty. Because Swayze's last film role was as some kind of drag queen strip club DJ in Powder Blue.