Mr. Brooks

Mr. Brooks seems normal, and yet he is a killer. The concept has been explored before, on the movie screen and in real life. However, Kevin Costner wearing a bow tie is priceless fun so let’s see how his serial killer movie turned out.

The film Mr. Brooks was directed by Bruce A. Evans and stars Kevin Costner in the title role, with William Hurt, Dane Cook, and Demi Moore stepping in for support. The story at its basic roots is one which follows Mr. Brooks, a serial killer who knows he is an addict, yet has been able to suppress his cravings for a couple of years. He falls off the wagon and this time a witness photographs him in the act; witness played by Dane Cook. The witness decides that instead of turning Mr. Brooks in to the cop looking for him, played by Demi Moore, that he wants Mr. Brooks to take him along the next time he kills. William Hurt of course is Mr. Brook’s imaginary friend/alter ego/ demented conscience.

The atmosphere of the film shows the detail and time that was put into crafting each scene. It is a dark piece orchestrated almost to perfection via mood. Even with faults there was no turning away from this movie and not finishing it, it compels you to see it through. The only time this dark, dramatic and bloody atmosphere is tainted would be during a couple of more intense action scenes involving Demi Moore’s character in which the rock and techno style music is beefed up and she looks like she is reprising her villain action woman role just a little bit from Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. Actually, perhaps with Costner being involved with the film one could say those scenes felt like they were meant for 3,000 Miles to Graceland.  Perhaps they were meant to contrast with the drama to perk up anyone trying to take a nap. Why would anyone be trying to take a nap though? You ask. I answer.

The plot for Mr. Brooks is all over the place. You don’t really know where to invest your interest in other than the characters. Luckily the characters are quite interesting, especially the relationship of Costner and Hurt. However, the branching plot lines are way too many and overall makes it seem like this character was made more for a television show, considering all of the coincidences and events occurring in his life. Rumor has it that this was meant to be the first film in a trilogy and if that is true it taints things quite a bit, because then the filmmakers intentions with certain plot points becomes all to clear; franchise set-up. There is the answer to why some may take a nap: they don’t like it when they feel they are trying to be sold on something. Regarding the rest of the acting within the continuous introduction of new and thin plot adventures: Demi Moore is okay and Dane Cook is much better an actor when he is not trying to be funny; keep the beard Dane!

Mr. Brooks does not hold back on the blood and gore in a few scenes, and yet in two other scenes it does. Both scenes I mention, without giving away any detail, are scenes that I feel would have been pivotal in developing the character of Brooks even more by allowing us to see them. As it is Mr. Brooks, even with some gory killings, almost comes off as censored for some reason. Maybe I’ve been watching too many horror movies and am not with the majority demanding to have been given two more scenes of bloody mayhem, but I know I wouldn’t be alone in that disappointment.

The scenes we do get, as previously mentioned, are masterfully crafted. The ending was awesome for all of a minute. It had the perfect ending and then they copped out and decided to use an all too cliché “dream” ploy and bank on a sequel. Mr. Brooks didn’t do the best at the box office so I am not sure how well any attempts at a sequel will work out.

Mr. Brooks is one of those films I just wish I had been in control of because I want to like it so much, it has all of the right ingredients, but they didn’t mix them together perfectly. The branching plotlines feel more like they were made for television, perhaps Dexter fans can appreciate that, and though they are hard to buy into sometimes they do make for some fun. The environments and acting within them are rich and overall Mr. Brooks is worth a rent; if for nothing else than to see Kevin Coster in his bow tie; well, that and his reaction when you first see him kill.

2 thoughts on “Mr. Brooks”

  1. Good review. I like the fact that some of the kills weren’t shown on the camera. It left some room for the viewer’s imagination. I disagree with the your point of view on the ending. If they did make a sequel, it would be pointless for the fact that she wasn’t good at killing. She would get caught instantly. I gave the film 4/5 stars.

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