Movie Review - Mr. Brooks (2007 United States)
There may be movies worse than this one. Blessedly, I don't know what they are.
I was hoping for a great deal more from this film because I like both Kevin Costner and William Hurt, and the premise offered the possibility of a thoughtful and satirical twist, but what we have here is yet another story glorifying a serial killer, as if film and TV weren't already awash in the syrup "blood" of this most contemporary of genres. The social ramifications of seeing the most extreme sociopaths as being somehow just really confused average Joes is (blessedly) outside the scope of my humble review. Instead, I will focus on the production values of this picture, since the story is so filled with twists that almost any critique of the (contrived beyond words) plot will give away too much (and, trust me, there is way too much “plot” for any one movie, anyway).
Watch the trailer, looks interesting, right?
Kevin Costner & William Hurt go for a Sunday drive
Slick, sleek, sick (in the old school meaning of 'sick')
So what we have is a very sleek, glossy picture — great set design, the art production in general is first class — with two very good performances (Kevin Costner and William Hurt), one so-so performance as Demi Moore moves through her scenes with an unchanging expression that may be technique, or may be Botox (albeit that she is saddled with ridiculous character set-up in a cardboard cutout Driven Female Cop role), and a script based on one great gag (serial killer goes to AA to break his addiction) and a terrific twist (the devil on his shoulder, egging him on, is not only William Hurt, he’s visible to us), but then wastes all of it by trying to sell the whole deal as a morality play. Costner's killer could be clean and sober, don’t you know, he really could be, but he kills again out of love for his family. Seriously.
I usually avoid serial killer stories, and the way Costner's victims are shown here — he kills them during sex, of course, because that's just so sexy, right? —speaks to my concern more than any words that I could write. His victims are things to him, they are presented to us as things, and — as always when dealing with this genre — I wonder how the real victims of senseless crime and their families feel about stupid movies such as this one.
Therefore I would not recommend this picture to anyone.
Copyright © Roberta Lee 2012. All rights reserved.
(I am an artist and the author of the Suburban Sprawl series of novels as well as two nonfiction books. Find out more about my work at RobertaLeeArt.com.)
Genre:Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Running Time: 2 hr.
In Theaters: Jun 1, 2007
On DVD: Oct 23, 2007
Directed By: Bruce A. Evans
Written By: Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon
Kevin Costner - Earl Brooks
Demi Moore - Tracy Atwood
Dane Cook - Mr. Smith
William Hurt - Marshall
Marg Helgenberger - Emma Brooks