Rated R for strong bloody violence, some graphic sexual content, nudity and language.
Directed by: Bruce A. Evans
Written by: Raynold Gideon and Bruce A. Evans
Staring: Kevin Costner, William Hurt, Demi Moore, Dane Cook, and Marg Helgenberger
Finding someone you think would be fun to kill is a bit like, well it’s a bit like falling in love. You meet a lot of candidates, and you like some of them, and they’re nice. But they’re not right. And that special one comes along, and your heart beats faster, and you know that’s the one. -Mr. Brooks
Mr. Brooks (Kevin Costner) seems to be your typical soft-spoken nerdy CEO, that has too much time and too much money. He has a lovely wife and a beautiful daughter away at college. Everything is his life seems in order, perfect even. Except for the fact that Mr. Brooks is a serial killer. There is a man named Marshall (William Hurt) who only Mr. Brooks can see, hear, and talk to. This alter ego is the one that inspires the seemingly quiet, gentle, and smart man to commit murder. As time goes on it’s clear Mr. Brooks actually takes pleasure and enjoyment in his work, though he is conflicted by the morality of it. He’s neat and meticulous in his routine and has never been caught. Until one night after two years of freedom he can silence Marshall no more, and murders a dancer couple. He makes the vast error in committing his murder with the curtains open. A peeping tom (Dane Cook) in the building across the street happens to be already photographing the couple having intercourse and catches Mr. Brooks on camera. The voyeur soon makes Brooks a peculiar offer to keep his secret quiet while they are both meanwhile being hunted down by a female detective(Demi Moore) known for her vigilance at apprehending criminals, her specialty, serial murderers. Before Brooks knows it, his own daughter is suspect in a college murder. Soon his entire world is turned upside down.
Despite some very original idea’s and stellar acting Mr. Brooks never seemed to come together. The focus was too in too many conflicting directions. The different worlds of Detective Atwood, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Brooks never connected fully. The individual perspective of Brooks and Marshall was compelling and engaging, and while their interaction with Mr. Smith developed their personalities more, it left Mr. Smith a blank slate. Which in turn may have been on purpose considering Dane Cooks performance was weak and distracting. His character was extremely one dimensional and used as a pawn for the rest of the story to pan out. Even Brooks interest in Detective Atwood didn’t connect them. There was scene at the end of the movie where Detective Atwood is in a gunfight, and the music mixed with the slow motion and the lighting is awesome looking, but it is completely out of place with this delicate, quiet, and deliberate movie. In fact the entire side story about Thorton Meeks was too much extra nonsense that didn’t fit with the violent elegance the rest of the film had.
Mr. Brooks did have some extremely positive qualities. Kevin Costner and William Hurt played off each other brilliantly and any scene that involved the two was ingenious. Demi Moore was a great choice for the role of Atwood and it was refreshing to see her playing a tough, smart woman that was a very three dimensional character. The intricate way the story was told and the way the psychosis of it’s main character was displayed was not only unqiue but in itself almost addicting. Some of the plot turns were completely shocking and unforeseen. There was a ton of originality in this movie.
Mr. Brooks was a clever psychological thriller that was very different from others in it’s genre. While it did have some problems, it still was very entertaining. It’s worth a rental, but not a purchase.
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