Nov 062007

Mr. BrooksAfter Mr Brooks (Costner) receives a “Man of the Year” award, we find out he is a serial killer haunted by the voice of his alter ego inside his head.

Bruce A. Evans

Crime, Drama, Thriller

Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, Dane Cook, William Hurt, Marg Helgenberger, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Danielle Panabaker, Aisha Hinds, Lindsay Crouse, Jason Lewis, Reiko Aylesworth, Matt Schulze, Yasmine Delawari

Lay and I watched this movie on DVD Saturday night. Lay started talking about wanting the movie to end in an unconvential way, and boy did he get his wish. 

Costner movies are so hit or miss. He’s the LAST person on earth that I’d expect to be playing a serial killer. His demeanor is too gentle and even. In this movie he is cold, brilliant, methodical, and heartless. Definitely not the traits we normally expect from Kevin Costner. And yet, it’s fascinating to watch. I found myself kind of rooting for him, and then had to remind myself what his character is. Top notch acting from him. That slow, gentle, deliberate pace gives it a surreal sense of unease that a lesser actor couldn’t match. It is exactly his everyman persona that makes this movie work.

In the tone of the movie, I was thrown by Costner’s previous work as well. He’s best known for somewhat light and under-realized fare. Mr. Brooks is anything but. This is a very, very dark movie, to the point that it’s uncomfortable in places.

Kudos as well to William Hurt, who isn’t known for playing this sort of role. It would have been easy for his character to descend into cliché, but it doesn’t. He holds the right note, and the chemistry between him and Costner definitely works.

The real star of this drama is the story, and the script. It is very well written but for one character. Frankly Demi Moore’s character as a trust fund rich detective seems to be written almost as an after-thought. I guess the rest of the movie is so well written, her part stands out for the lack of depth. On top of that, she does a bad job with the part by overacting and trying to pull too much out of a flat character.

It would have been easy to turn this into a gore-fest (and it is graphic in some parts), but it’s nice to see a film that doesn’t have to go for the visceral reaction to achieve it’s tension. This is an assault to the mind, not the eyes, and it’s exceptionally well done.  This Costner movie was a definite hit.

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