Mickey Rourke plays criminal minded John ‘Johnny Handsome‘ Sedley and manages to channel the spirit of Eric Stoltz portrayal of Rocky Dennis until he meets Dr Fisher (Forest Whitaker) for some experimental cosmetic surgery giving Johnny the chance to change his face. Turning him into Bruce Willis with hair whilst sprouting the vocal style of Marlon Brando.
Tagline – Revenge has a new face
Now that our Johnny is handsome and unrecognisable from his former self he can go to work seeking revenge on the dastardly duo that got him locked up for a jewellery robbery they had sabotaged, resulting in the murder of his trusted friend Mikey played by Scott Wilson AKA Hershel from The Walking Dead.
In his way, is none other than Morgan Freeman playing Lieutenant Drones, a cop all too familiar with the nature of Johnny’s inner workings and knows a leopard can’t change his spots. But maybe the kind hearted secretary Donna McCarty (Elizabeth McGovern) can help put our anti-hero back on the straight line?
Tagline – They changed his looks, his life and his future… but they couldn’t change his past.
To be honest this film slides very close to a B-movie what with the reconstruction surgery computer graphics and a speech therapy Nun! Then throw in the most ridiculously over the top psycho baddies from the likes of Southern lowdown hoe (Ellen Barkin) “Mad” Sunny Boyd and the totally deranged camp looking cyber punk Rafe Garrett played by Lance Henriksen otherwise known as Bishop from Aliens.
Rourke, Morgan and Forest put in some good performances and the film plods along at a good pace. With my task of filling in Director Walter Hill’s movies I’ve missed, it’s another one ticked off the list but if i’m honest I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped, it was pretty average.
Fun Fact – Based on a 1972 novel by Morton Freedgood under the pen name of John Godey called The Three Worlds of Johnny Handsome. A year after he wrote the book The Taking of Pelham One Two Three which went on to being made into the awesome New York subway thriller starring Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw.