Passion Play  (2010)

Whenever I see major names attached to an indie movie, I always wonder how they decided to join the project. Were they friends of the writer or director, doing them a favor? Were they genuinely interested in the subject material? Or were they just looking for a quick paycheck?

Mickey Rourke plays Nate, a has-been jazz musician. He stumbles into a carnival where he sees Lily Luster (Megan Fox) featured in the Freak Show. Her "freak" quality is the fact that she has wings, actual bird wings, growing from her body. Nate whisks her away from the carnival, back to the city. He attempts to "manage her career" with the help of a well-known gangster, Happy (played by Bill Murray). Happy becomes infatuated with Lily and steals her away from Nate.

That last paragraph sounded very rushed, and the entire movie is of a similar tone. The story is choppy, the flow and pacing never feel right. The script is awful, and most of the acting never bothers to rise above it. Megan Fox is fine as eye candy; Mickey Rourke is sort of just caricaturing himself; Bill Murray seems like he wants to try, but just ends up looking around thinking "why am I bothering?" and phones it in.

The movie simply didn't seem professional. From basic aspects like the script, to more technical things like lighting and cinematography and green-screens, everything felt amateur. I felt like I could have written a comparable script as a student project in college or even high school.

There is a twist ending that tries to make sense of everything, but by that point I was so far gone I didn't even care. I think that maybe in the hands of a more skillful writer and director and editor, this movie could have worked.



On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, "Passion Play" gets a 3 out of 10.


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