Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Repeat Bidness: Mr. Brooks

Release: 06/01/2007
DVD Release: 10/23/2007
Rated R
2 hours


"Costner and Great Movie in the same sentence; been a while since I heard that."

Kevin Costner (Waterworld) stars as Mr. Earl Brooks. Mr. Brooks is an award winning humanitarian, a very successful box manufacturer, and a deeply disturbed serial killer. For years Earl has fought his inclination for murder, but as the whispers from the rather large devil on his shoulder, Marshall, played by William Hurt (*A History of Violence) get louder, Mr. Brooks comes out of retirement to kill again. Unfortunately for Earl, he slips up and a man known only as Mr. Smith, portrayed by Dane Cook (London), witnesses his crime and uses it to angle for position in Earl’s life. All the while Detective Tracy Atwood, played by Demi Moore (Disclosure), is quick to pick up Earl’s trail again if she can keep her messy divorce and other escaped cons from landing her on desk duty.

Costner plays Mr. Brooks as an affectionate, caring father and husband equally as well as he plays Brooks as an unnervingly creepy and calculating man possessed with the urge to kill. Hurt and Costner’s banter are treated as asides during scenes, which work really well for maintaining flow throughout the film. As these asides develop during the story, they evolve to create a tense and sinister mood around Mr. Brooks. Cook plays the bungling blackmailer just as successfully. Audiences can almost hear the gears turning in Smith’s head as he tries to outfox the cunning Mr. Brooks. Moore is over the top as the overachieving detective who is hell-bent on seeing every villain, be he an amoral murderous monster or a weaselly adulterous ex-husband, served the justice they deserve at her hands. The best part about these characters is that everyone remains true to their established form. It is with the unpredictable Mr. Brooks that audiences will find their interest unwavering.

Dirty Undies
Everyone probably remembers how in “Se7en” the cops arrived on the scene to see all the despicable things the killer had done to his victims and audiences could only imagine how he did it. Well Mr. Brooks doesn’t have any creatively thematic way of mangling his victims, but audiences get to share the experience of each of his kills. The bullet’s impact, the splattering blood, the raw brutality inflicted by Mr. Brooks are depicted onscreen, which may or may not float your boat. Of course any film willing to show that much violent detail doesn’t stop there; gratuitous nudity and foul language also litter the dark recesses of the story though they pale in comparison to the events that transpire.

The Money Shot
“Mr. Brooks” is the type of film you don’t want to hear a lot about beforehand. You really just need to know that the performances are solid, the story is intense and interesting, and if you can stomach a bit of violence you will not be dissatisfied. The best thing about a film like this is that it will make you think twice about that quiet coworker or creepy neighbor. Doesn’t everyone like a little apprehension in their lives?

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