When he was great: Diner (1982), The Pope Of Greenwich Village (1984), 9 ½ Weeks (1986), Angel Heart (1987), Barfly (1987)
Since then: The Informers (2009), The Expendables (2010), Passion Play (2010)
For a minute there, we thought he was back in strong form. With all of his deserved acclaim and awards nominations for 2008’s magnificent The Wrestler, Mickey Rourke seemed like the ultimate Hollywood comeback story. Killing the 1980s with his macho charisma and towering on-screen performances, the edgy New Yorker was poised for feature film greatness, yet the limitless skies of his career were halted by drug use and legal woes that sidelined his A-list status and forced Rourke to wallow in projects that were beneath him.
In 2005, though, an upswing began, thanks to his scene-jacking work in Sin City, which led nicely into The Wrestler. All of his Wrestler momentum brought along the credible paycheck gig as Iron Man 2’s underused villain, Ivan “Whiplash” Vanko, but since that summer blockbuster Rourke hasn’t done anything to keep the comeback alive. The less said about Passion Play, which placed him alongside Megan Fox in an incredibly half-baked drama, the better. Is it too soon to make The Wrestler II: Ram Jam Lives?