Mickey Rourke crashes his motorcycle and becomes paralyzed from the neck down. He gets emotionally distraught and pleads with his brother Ron Howard to end his misery. Ronnie says OK and the next night he comes into the hospital with a sawed off shotgun and blows Mickey’s brains out. Naturally, Ronnie gets arrested and there’s a big trial and lawyer Robert (Prophecy) Foxworth has to try to get him off so he can go back to painting houses.
You know what? The first half an hour of this made-for-TV movie is pretty damn good. Howard and Rourke have some genuine chemistry together and Mickey’s hospital scenes are quite moving. Unfortunately, things slow way the fuck down once the trial begins.
I didn’t mind the more maudlin aspects of the flick because the two leading performances really sold it. Howard was coasting on his “Aw shucks” persona, but added a little bit more depth than usual. Rourke is really the reason to watch it though. Even at a young age, Rourke’s talent was evident and he’d soon go on to bigger and better things. (Like boxing.) Once Mickey’s head gets blown off though, things are pretty rough going. Still, if you ever wanted to see Opie brandishing a sawed off shotgun and blowing away Mickey Rourke, here’s your chance.
Look fast for a young David (Married with Children) Faustino making his screen debut as Mickey’s young son.