Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mr. Brooks

Brilliant idea, so-so execution.

Mr. Brooks (Kevin Costner) is a serial killer. He kills because he gets off on it. And he wants to quit. He attends A.A. meetings and recites theirs goofy mantras when he has the urge to kill, but he can’t resist the evil voice in his head, a separate personality named Marshall (William Hurt).

That’s more enough to fill 121 minutes of compelling cinema, but the writers feel it necessary to add twist after twist, each more ludicrous and unnecessary than the last – not the wisest of moves since Mr. Brook’s condition is probably pretty unrealistic to begin with. With all the needless subplots, the story loses focus on Mr. Brooks, and the initial premise merely becomes an interesting hook for a barely interesting thriller.

I always forget how powerful a performance Kevin Costner can give with the right material. The last time I remember was Open Range – and I can’t even remember the time before that. His performance – along with William Hurt’s – is the reason to watch this movie. Demi Moore and Dane Cook don’t hold up as well – especially Dane Cook.

If this does turn into a trilogy, the next one’s going to have to fix a lot mistakes made in the original.

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