This post was originally published on October 25, 2010.

A little more than a month ago I was lucky enough to get tickets for TIFF to see Passion Play, a romantic thriller from first time director, long time writer/producer Mitch Glazer. Though the movie sports a solid cast of Mickey Rourke, Megan Fox and Bill Murray, (in a smaller role than the movie’s billing would have you believe) I had heard mixed reviews coming into the film (leading me to start questioning my 20 dollar purchase a week prior to the screening) but I attempted to stay as optimistic as possible still elevated by the prospect of my first experience at TIFF. Despite my natural high, I should have known it was a bad omen when the box-office printer was broken and my tickets had to be printed out by hand.

Before I begin going over the movie itself I should probably state that the movie follows Nate (Rourke) a down and out jazz musician and his quest to save his winged mistress (Fox) from the “evil” hands of the heartless gangster, Happy Shannon (Murray). (I should also point out that “winged mistress” is not a metaphor, Megan Fox actually has wings!) So let’s go over what we have going into the movie: Mickey Rourke falls in love with a winged beauty who is captured by an antagonist ironically named “Happy” and I didn’t mention this because I assumed it was obvious, but Rourke stumbles upon Fox at a circus, in the dessert, being run by Rhys Ifans.

So now that we all have a great idea of what Passion Play is all about, I think I can start discussing my actual thoughts on the movie. The movie started off surprisingly well and this would continue through the first seen. However, by the time Chuck Liddell’s drives Rourke to the dessert to kill him, around 90 seconds after the first scene, things have gone surprisingly downhill. (Don’t worry if you’re confused at this point because I know I was.) As Liddell held a gun to Rourke’s head I vividly remember clutching my armrest so that I wouldn’t stand up and scream “No Chuck! Don’t do it!” but before I lost all control Rourke was saved just in the nick of time by a group of Native Americans who just as easily could have been Ninjas. It was these opening five minutes that really got the ball rolling because the Indians immediately walk away after saving Rourke, which then leads him to walk the dessert…into a circus.

At this point I really need to give the film credit because the first scene in which Rourke encounters the winged Fox (a scene that has been circulating YouTube for quite some time now) was quite spectacularly done between the score (which was solid throughout the movie), cinematography and the one genuine scene from Fox throughout the entire movie. It is a scene that involves no lines but I felt there seemed to be some genuine emotion coming from Fox. From this point on in the movie it was around sixty-five minutes of poorly executed scenes that were occasionally saved by a mediocre Bill Murray. Before everyone gets on my case for being so unimpressed by Passion Play, I will say that there was one other great scene in the movie. It was, of course, a passionate love scene between Rourke and Fox that not only got laughs but people out of their seats, and out of the door. Two things I had never seen happen back to back. So good on you for that Passion Play.

Despite all the negative things I have said about Passion Play it truly was a movie that I looked forward to seeing and was disappointed by when it underachieved. It is a movie that strives to be good but unfortunately stumbles along the way due to a writer who over stepped his ability in attempt to direct his own work. In the end I walked out of the movie extremely happy. Not because my feelings on the movie have done a complete one-eighty over the past 4 weeks but because my first experience at TIFF was most definitely one that I will not forget for quite some time now.

Passion Play hits theaters in Los Angeles and New York this Friday, May 6.