Friday, June 8, 2007

Dane Cook Hearts Serial Killers: Mr. Brooks

Mr. Brooks
Directed by Bruce Evans
Released June 1, 2007

Serial killer movies are my favorite kind of movie, provided that it is spectacularly done. It is a hard feat, and some fail pretty miserably and end up just being creepy and dark ("Copycat" and "Suspect Zero"), others are merely disappointing ("Taking Lives" and the extremely slow "Zodiac"), but then there are the great ones. "Silence of the Lambs", "Se7en", and "Red Dragon" are my top three thrillers, and there is nothing quite like the excitement of watching this kind of movie.

Unfortunately, "Mr. Brooks" falls somewhere between "Copycat" and "Suspect Zero" in quality but its tone is extremely uneven. Kevin Costner and William Hurt play the two halves of the serial killer Mr. Brooks (Hurt is the imaginary portion), also known as the Thumbprint Killer. Costner has never really been a good actor, and I have despised Hurt recently. Their performances in this film echo that recent opinion. When the two cackle together, it is particularly cringe-worthy. The Jekyll/Hyde element does not really make sense, as evil alter ago Hurt is often asking Costner why he wants to kill more people.

And then there is Dane Cook. I am not even sure if he can be considered miscast, as the role is pretty terrible to begin with. As an overeager weirdo who accidentally snaps a shot of Mr. Brooks at a murder scene, Cook's character feels a rush and wants to have Costner teach him how to kill people. This kind of role has no place in this kind of film. Demi Moore is awful as the terribly annoying cop in charge of the Thumbprint Killer case, and I immediately wanted her character to die at any moment. The film also contains one of the most poorly conceived abductions I have ever seen on film. Danielle Panabaker, in a less-than-well-conceived role as Brooks' daughter, is the one positive element of the film. Overall, the film thinks much too much of itself, and becomes obssessed with how fun it would be to be a serial killer. The unnecessary opening quote is particularly obnoxious and indicative of the film to come: "The hunger has returned to Mr. Brooks' brain. It never really left".


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ya abe no one will disagree with you over dane cook being miscast. still besides for that i thought it was a very smart thriller. i saw it a while ago but i remember being into it the whole way through. and the end really got to me and stuck with me. i really love thrillers and though this wasnt spectacular it still did not disappoint was engaging kept the suspense and thrilling aspects up and ended with a metaphorical bang that really put it over the top for me (in a good way) besides for the end was not brilliant though and i enjoyed the hurt/costner interactions but was not overly pleased by it.
Sammy Hartman