Starring Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet, Charlotte Rampling, Stocker Fontelieu
Dark. Evocative. Haunting.
There are two movie formulas that always leave me satisfied. One belongs to the western genre: a town bullied by outlaws finds help from a vigilante outsider. The second is the private eye subgenre: a world-weary gumshoe accepts a seemingly innocuous case that develops into the biggest case of his career. I love mystery and femme fatales and tough-talking men and all that comes with this latter plot. Angel Heart, starring Mickey Rourke and Robert De Niro, is such a film. Beginning in 1950s New York, Rourke plays Harry Angel, hired by De Niro’s Louis Cyphre to track down a lost jazz singer named Johnny Favorite. His investigation leads him to New Orleans and a cast of characters involved in the dark arts including the beautiful Evangeline Proudfoot (Bonet). As the plot thickens, Angel Heart morphs from a private eye drama to a supernatural thriller, and the ending, absurd and abstract as it is, floored me. Mickey Rourke is a special actor; inherently interesting, exciting, with great emotional range. His revelation scene opposite a terrifically understated De Niro is a tour de force.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-