Wham! Bam! Thank you, Van Damme!
Every year or so, Jean-Claude comes along and makes the world a safe place for justifying the price of cable. His latest exercise in doing the splits for absolutely no reason whatsover is Double Team, which hasn’t been released yet, but is getting an advertising blitz usually reserved for movies that are likely to make money.
I guess nothing else is being released right now.
Anyway, as you drive around Los Angeles, and I can only assume other major metropolitan centers, you are assaulted by Van Damme’s menacing grimace and that of co-star Dennis Rodman, although his grimace looks more like gas pains.
Bustops, the sides of buses, the Calender section. Van Damme and Rodman everywhere. And emblazoned above Jean-Claude’s gimacing visage is “VAN DAMME” in technicolor yellow. Emblazoned above Dennis’ menacing gas pains is “RODMAN”, also in technicolor yellow, complimenting rather nicely his green hair. And centered underneath both of their faces, “ROURKE” in the same technicolor yellow.
But no Rourke.
The trailer, which plays before every movie including Slingblade, is filled with ass-kicking shot after ass-kicking shot of Van Damme kicking ass and Rodman delivering hilarious lines that all somehow relate to basketball even though the movie has nothing to do with basketball.
But no Rourke.
No Rourke in the TV ads, either. No Rourke.
No Mr. Rourke. No PJ O’Rourke. And no Mickey Rourke, who I guess is the “Rourke” mentioned, although I can’t really tell. Because there’s no Rourke.
At first, I got kind of mad, feeling this was a way out-of-bounds diss on Mickey Rourke.
Even the slightest injustice can set me off. I guess that’s the libertarian, small “l”, in me.
But then, I thought about it: Why the hell did they even put Rourke’s name in the advertising at all? Who’s the demographic they’re trying to appeal to? That all-important Mickey Rourke Fan Club contingent? Those two guys in Nebraska who thought Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man was a groundbreaking film?
Are you driving around in your car, you see the billboard, “Van Damme, Rodman, what a peice of shit that’s gonna be...wait a minute...Rourke! Fuck the Das Boot re-release, I’m going to see Double Team!”
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Mickey Rourke. Past tense. Diner. The Pope of Greenwich Village. Angel Heart.. Barfly, for Chrissakes! Even the sex ones, 9 1/2 Weeks and Wild Orchid had merit, especially with trying to sex up ladies in college.
But, Mickey, what have you done for me lately? And by “lately” I mean in the last seven years. Poop, that’s what. Name a film (outside of Double Team, smartypants) that Mickey Rourke has done since Marlboro Man. Oh wait. He was Harley Davidson. Whatever. You can’t name one. I think he may be doing a sequel to 9 1/2 Weeks (9 3/4 Weeks? 9 1/2 Weeks, Part Deux? 19 Weeks?), but that could just be a rumor started by his publicist so that people stop confusing Mickey Rourke with that kid from Silver Spoons who died breakdancing.
No, I have a feeling Mickey Rourke is still riding around Hollywood on his hog, prompting snickers from real bikers and, really, anyone who sees him, while he blames the Hughes Brothers, John Singleton, and Spike Lee for causing the gang problem. I guess this is only fair since Rourke’s asking Jackie Bisset to wear a mask was responsible for me getting laid a few times in college.
And yet, he gets third billing in Double Team. I have a feeling he’s really big in Europe.