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Homeboy

STARS: Mickey Rourke (Barfly), Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter), Debra Feuer
YEAR: 1988
DIRECTOR: Michael Seresin
Ann's RATING: 7 out of 10
CATEGORY: Sports/Drama

Warning: Don't hire this movie just to see Stephen Baldwin. He only has about three or four lines and he is credited only as "Luna Park Drunk". If you like boxing movies you'll probably enjoy it. Mickey Rourke actually gave up acting and became a professional boxer around this time. Non-boxing fans will find "Homeboy" a little slow. Rourke gives a weird but interesting performance and Christopher Walken is great.

Ann's Review: Just as HOMEBOY is nothing more than a hodgepodge of cliches, its central character, Johnny Walker, played by Mickey Rourke, is a composite of nearly all the down-and-out, golden-hearted pugs ever put on screen. A club fighter, Johnny has been invited to the burnt-out seaside town of Asbury Park, New Jersey, to ply his trade. In the process of throwing punches and throwing back drinks, he becomes involved with two people who change his life: Wesley Pendergrass (Christopher Walken), a hustler who involves Johnny in a jewelry store robbery, and Ruby (Debra Feuer), the pretty owner of a run-down arcade, with whom Johnny begins an intense, mutually redemptive relationship. HOMEBOY is encumbered with heavy-handed, clanging "artistic" touches that attempt to elevate its dreary, familiar story into something more significant. The result is a ponderous, pretentious film whose only flashes of originality are provided by Walken's parodying antics as the vain, posturing Wesley. No wonder Mickey Rourke--charging he was neither paid nor given the creative approval rights he contracted for--sued to stop HOMEBOY's release.


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