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The last thing washed-up jazz musician Nate Pool (Academy Award-nominee Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler) wanted to do was betray sinister gangster Happy Shannon (Academy-Award-nominee Bill Murray, Lost in Translation). But it may be the last thing he does unless he can deliver Lily (Megan Fox, Transformers), a beautiful and mysterious carnival sideshow attraction. The stakes can't get any higher for the two lovers as they try to elude the merciless killer who will stop at nothing to keep Lily for himself.
When I first read about "Passion Play" going into production I was pretty excited, I mean you have the screenwriter of The Recruit, Mitch Glazer at the helm, a cast that consists of Mickey Rourke, Megan Fox and Bill Murray and what sounded like at least on paper a unique story but somewhere a long the way something went wrong. As far as the story goes the less you know about it the better so the above synopsis is about all you should know before watching it. You might wonder how a film with this much talent could fail, I can tell you it does mainly due to poor direction and bad special effects. The film is described as a thriller but it's more a romantic drama with a bit of film noir and fantasy tossed in, it's there that the direction fails, the different pieces of the story just seem out of place or just don't match up at times. This the first time Glazer has gone behind the camera so maybe he just lacks the experience to bring all these elements together. It might of been better if he took on a more simple story for his first time but either way the film lacks direction when needed the most. The story though great on paper seemed to lack a lot of detail leaving the characters under developed, for example Fox's and Murray's characters both come from a rough childhood and to expand on that a bit would of been a big help also the story leaves the audience with too much to imagine at times. Now don't get me wrong this isn't the worse film I have ever seen it's just a disappointment with so much talent involved in it. There are some good parts to the film, most of it is when Rourke and Fox's characters are together and I did enjoy the setting and thought the acting was about as good as it could be with what they had to work with.
as far as the acting goes Rourke is his usual self which is fantastic and Bill Murray turns in a good performance as the villain. Even Megan Fox surprised me a bit here, even though she didn't have a lot to say in the film she did a good job when she did and showed some talent I never believed she had. The bad news is "Passion Play" never soars like you might have hoped but the good news is it's a different kind of film that has some interesting things going for it and a stellar cast. I'm not going to tell you to avoid it since there seems to be a love/hate thing going on here but I suggest a rental at first to see if it's the kind of film you like or not first. Being a huge Mickey Rourke fan I really wanted this film to be something special but sadly it failed on most levels but it's still unique enough to recommend to fan's of it's stars or to anyone looking for something a bit different. You can order the DVD HERE and the Blu-ray HERE. Besides the Trailer neither contain any other special features.
Released by Image Entertainment
** 1/2 Out Of *****