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Angel Heart (1987)

Director:
Alan Parker
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Mystery/Thriller
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Angel Heart
RUNNING TIME
113 minutes
Producer:
Alan Marshall
Elliott Kastner
Screenwriter (based on the novel Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg):
Alan Parker


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Harry Angel Mickey Rourke
Louis Cyphre Robert De Niro
Epiphany Proudfoot Lisa Bonet
Margaret Krusemark Charlotte Rampling
Ethan Krusemark Stocker Fontelieu
Toots Sweet Brownie McGhee
Dr. Fowler Michael Higgins
Deimos Pruitt Taylor Vince

 

Review

Helmed by the always ambitious and forceful Alan Parker, Angel Heart is a fairly successful cross between the classic hard-boiled detective genre and a voodoo-inspired mystery. The characterizations are good (especially the Rourke-character) and the plot untangles intriguingly, even though one cannot help finding oneself a tad manipulated by Parker's trickery as he throws at us abundances of images intended to shock until we're ready to digest any which thinkable ending. The fast-paced cutting is more annoying than effective.

As a mystery, Angel Heart techically holds up, and Parker shows some flair along the way, but the film never seizes to feel contrived. The problem has more to do with the execution than the story, because for all Parker's meticulous sets, the film's heart (if you like) is stuck in the 1980s and not in the 1950s, best exemplified through Lisa Bonet who has no chance of bringing the necessary ancient quality to her role. Luckily she is at her most sexy, making her sex scene with Rourke surprisingly steamy. Alluring is also Robert De Niro, but his performance, while stylish, is ultimately too obvious and peripheral. Angel Heart is fascinating, but far from Parker's most consistent work. He would stay in the American south and make a better picture the following year.

Copyright 9.4.2007 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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