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Homeboy (1988)

5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 1,523 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 6 critic

Johnny Walker is a cowboy and a boxer. He is very shy and a bit of a fool. He is in love with Ruby, but he cannot tell her. He is also a bit old to keep on boxing, but its the only thing he... See full summary »

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Title: Homeboy (1988)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Ruby
Thomas Quinn ...
Lou
...
Grazziano
Antony Alda ...
Ray
...
Bill Slayton ...
Bill
David Albert Taylor ...
Cannonball (as David Taylor)
...
Cotten's Trainer
Matthew Lewis ...
Cotten
...
Moe's Bodyguard
...
Sam Gray ...
Barber
...
Billy Harrison
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Storyline

Johnny Walker is a cowboy and a boxer. He is very shy and a bit of a fool. He is in love with Ruby, but he cannot tell her. He is also a bit old to keep on boxing, but its the only thing he does well. Written by Michel Rudoy <mdrc@hp9000a1.uam.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Everything In His Life Is A Fight See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

15 September 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A hallgatag bunyós  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Debra Feuer, who portrays Johnny Walker's (Mickey Rourke) love interest was actually wife of Rourke at that time. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Mercy
Performed by Steve Jones
Courtesy of M.C.A. Records
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User Reviews

 
Mickey Rourke's love of boxing is evident in this his screenplay
8 December 2014 | by (Toronto) – See all my reviews

Mickey Rourke's genuine love for the sport of boxing is evident in both his writing style and in his acting as the main character in his boxing genre film Homeboy. Rourke plays a somewhat dim-witted, booze drinking, over the hill cowboy dressing boxer named Johnny Walker, whose only means of eking out a bearable living is by getting back in to the ring travelling from boxing venue to boxing venue and fighting the local 'homeboys", where the judges seem to favor the local homeboy.

I believe that sometimes we the audience will see an actor portray a character that just does not seem believable on the big screen simply because the actors' previous body of work influences the audience to expect to see the actor play a similar type character as in his previous roles on camera. In the case of Mickey Rourke, we are used to seeing him play leading tough guy roles as he did earlier on his career as in his 1980's films where he was usually portrayed as the handsome leading man as in The Pope of Greenwich Village, 9 ½ Weeks, Rumble Fish or in Diner. And then Mickey chooses to write a screenplay where he portrays a dim witted over the hill booze laden boxer who falls for a carnival girl of his dreams.

Mickey just shows us time and time again that he is not afraid to explore new characters (as in his Academy Award Best Actor nomination in the 2008 film, The Wrestler) and he refuses to be stereotyped in his acting roles. What I liked about the film Homeboy most was the character Johnny Walker portrayed with a quirky distorted smile that enjoyed the most simple things in life, such as hot walking the carnival ponies along the sandy beach, or just being held by his carnival girlfriend Ruby played by Debra Feuer.

There are also good performances played by the seasoned actor Christopher Walken and Kevin Conway. Walken plays Wesley Pendergrass a thief with grand illusions of wealth and expensive clothes. Wesley's grifter character plays opposite Johnny Walkers poor cowboy boxer character and in some ways a comparison can be drawn towards the earlier Academy Award winning 1969 film Midnight Cowboy starring Jon Voight (Joe Buck) and Dustin Hoffman's (Ratso) characters.

Kevin Conway plays a grimy cop named Grazziano who is closing in on Wesley's grifter activities and he has a soft spot for Johnny Walker's character and tells Johnny while chomping on an apple that Johnny needs to know his various types of apples and to live his own life. The audience can interpret this exchange of dialogue between Grazziano the cop and Johnny the downtrodden cowboy boxer that he should stay away from that bad apple Wesley because he is up to no good.

The actual boxing scenes in the ring were not the greatest, but I understand that spending a ton of money on the movies production is better spent on building the characters (Rourke, Feuer, Walken and Conway) then it would be on spending on a few minutes of boxing choreography. The last fifteen minutes are very appealing as we see what will happen to the struggling boxer Johnny Walker, his new found grifter friend Wesley looking for that one big score, and Johnny's girlfriend Ruby who is struggling financially to hold on to her deceased fathers carnival business. Who will win and who will lose in the life battles we all face in one way or another? All in all, I liked the film and I give it a 7 out of 10 rating. If you like Mickey Rourke, and you like a gritty under achiever, then Homeboy will not disappoint you.


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