R, 1 hr. 45 min. Directed by: Darren Aronofsky. Release Date: Sep 05, 2008. DVD Release Date: Apr 21, 2009.
****REPOSTED FROM THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH ADDITIONAL EDITS AND COMMENTS****
Johnny used to work on the docks. Union went on strike. He's down on his luck... it's tough, so tough.
While I blatantly stole that from Bon Jovi's Prayer '94, it's really the best way to sum this up. The film is the depiction of the train wreck this guy's made of his own life. Actually, I suspect that there's some of Mickey Rourke's actual life mixed into this. It has too many of the same parallels not to be intentional. While it was interesting to watch these parallels, the story was a bit dull.
Depressing and morose in the same way that Pursuit of Happyness was depressing and morose, we never qet the happy ending that Will Smith gives us, though. Despite this, or maybe because of this, you have to like Randy "The Ram." He's an anachronism, completely lost in the mid-80s, stuck in a world that would have despised political correctness or the concept that sexual harassment might be a bad thing. He's worked his whole life and has never managed to get ahead in any way: not his family, not financially, and not in his professional life. Much like Johnny, Randy is very down on his luck. Still he's likable, no matter what he does, and a lot of what he does is a little creepy.
I will say that Mickey Rourke was incredible here. This has to be the best performance of his career, not that that's saying a whole lot. He really did deserve all the hype at the February 2009 awards season, and I'm not sure that I think Sean Penn was the best choice for his performance in Milk. The two women in his life: Evan Rachel Wood as his daughter Stephanie, and Marissa Tomei as his love interest slash stalking victim made for a great triad of performances.