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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A PRAYER FOR THE DYING (1987)

Jack Higgins’ straightforward thriller about a guilt-ridden IRA bomber forced into "one last job" (where have I heard that one before?) gets a snarky treatment from cult director Mike Hodges. Mickey Rourke, with alarming red hair, confesses all to the priest (Bob Hoskins, of all people) who accidentally witnessed the shooting. The rules of the church keep Father Bob from talking, but then Rourke goes and falls in love with the priest’s blind niece. They bond at the church organ. No kiddin', that’s the plot. Alan Bates is around as the top dog mobster who’s calling the shots (literally) and he seems to be the only actor who’s on to the jokey tone Hodges is aiming at. Bates is all set to do a sort of U.K. PRIZZI’S HONOR, but no one else, including an effortlessly charismatic Liam Neeson in a supporting role, got the message.

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