Angel Heart (1987) **1/2
D: Alan Parker
C: Mickey Rourke, Lisa Bonet, Robert De Niro, Charlotte Rampling
P: A private eye (Mickey Rourke) is hired by a seedy, mysterious man (Robert De Niro) to locate a missing rock star that owes him a debt, but the more he investigates, the more he becomes involved with a series of killings that are linked to him.
The idea of taking a wholesome actress like Lisa Bonet of The Cosby Show and placing her in a very adult role complete with a controversial sex scene and free flowing blood is sure to get attention. Taking a bad boy like Mickey Rourke and making him the emotional center of the film is another bold move. Gimmicks like this are sure to get a response. They sure are effective, but that's all they are - gimmicks.
The people behind Angel Heart didn't trust the material enough to stand on its own merits and just parade around gimmick after gimmick in an effort to camouflage the overall predictable nature of the script. Choices like this make for interesting viewing, but it takes away from the emotional resonance that the material could have possibly had. At the end of the film, that's all Angel Heart has to offer, are gimmicks. Lots of flash, lots of style, but no substance, no depth, nothing meaningful to say. [R] 113 mins.