Mickey Rourke: 5 Awesome Performances And 5 That Sucked‏

Wait, there was another 9½ Weeks? What was it called?

In an industry characterised by strange, inexplicable career trajectories, Mickey Rourke's stands as the single most strange and inexplicable. A promising young character actor who worked with Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and Alan Parker, he threw it all away in favour of returning to his first love: boxing. His professional record wasn't quite as impressive as the amatuer cards he booked as a teenager in the sixties and seventies, and during this ill-fated sojourn from acting in the early nineties lead to short term memory loss, a broken nose, toe, and ribs, a split tongue, and a compressed cheekbone. When he finally retired from the ring for a second time, he was near-unrecognisable. Both because it had been a good decade or so since he'd appeared in any films worth watching, and everybody had kinda forgot about him, and because the amount of injuries he'd suffered as a boxer meant Rourke had undertaken extensive reconstructive surgery of his face. He would later admit that he picked "the wrong guy" for it, and that said plastic surgeon had left his features "a mess". What would have been a death knell for an actor used to trading on his looks ended up being a positive boon for Rourke, who parlayed his weathered face and messy personal life off-screen - even in the years before the boxing thing, he was getting as much attention for his romantic entanglements with co-stars and allegedly prickly demeanor on set - into dramatic roles which saw him netting Golden Globes and BAFTAs. Oh and he played the parakeet-wielding bad guy in Iron Man 2, which was fun. Suffice to say, Mickey Rourke has had his ups and downs over the years. He's appeared in some stone-cold classic films over the years, along with his fair share of stinkers. Maybe more than his fair share, actually, there was pretty much a whole decade immediately post-boxing lost to the direct-to-video market. Anyway, it remains to be seen if his next starring role in the second Sin City film will be brill or naff, but in the meantime here are five certified awesome Mickey Rourke performances...followed by five that undoubtedly sucked.

Tom Baker is the Comics Editor at WhatCulture! He's heard all the Doctor Who jokes, but not many about Randall and Hopkirk. He also blogs at