Johnny Handsome

  • 1989
  • Movie
  • R
  • Action, Crime

When dealing with themes of physical deformity, Hollywood has limited itself mainly to horror movies and problem dramas like MASK. Action director Walter Hill tries to stretch those boundaries a bit in JOHNNY HANDSOME, testing the unexplored ground between conventional shock and conventional uplift in the use of the subject, but the effort yields mixed...read more

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When dealing with themes of physical deformity, Hollywood has limited itself mainly to horror movies and problem dramas like MASK. Action director Walter Hill tries to stretch those boundaries a bit in JOHNNY HANDSOME, testing the unexplored ground between conventional shock and

conventional uplift in the use of the subject, but the effort yields mixed results. Mickey Rourke plays the ironically named title character, a severely deformed Louisianan who lives by his criminal wits. After his accomplices in a robbery (Ellen Barkin and Lance Henriksen) gun down his best

friend, take off with the loot, and leave Johnny to take the rap for the heist, Johnny is sent to prison, where he becomes a bone of contention between an idealistic doctor (Forest Whitaker), who gives Johnny a new face in the belief it will help him rehabilitate, and a cynical cop (Morgan

Freeman), who believes that the revenge-minded con is beyond saving. Much blood is spilled before their debate is settled. Hill's action scenes here are surprisingly perfunctory, but his narrative exposition is superb--a model of minimalist restraint in lurid circumstances. Hill also maintains his

ability to push his actors in interesting directions here, though Rourke's laconic performance fails to pay off.

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  • Released: 1989
  • Rating: R
  • Review: When dealing with themes of physical deformity, Hollywood has limited itself mainly to horror movies and problem dramas like MASK. Action director Walter Hill tries to stretch those boundaries a bit in JOHNNY HANDSOME, testing the unexplored ground between… (more)

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