Movie Review: Mr Brooks

The Carousel is starting to do review like entries now, this evidently being the first.  I have recruited a couple different individuals to participate and I expect all them to have their own unique style, length and critiques.  My personal style is, well I want to talk about what I liked, why I liked it, and why you might like it.

Mr Brooks stars Kevin Costner as a serial killer with William Hurt as his alternate personality.  Pretty much, if you like Dexter, you’ll probably like Mr Brooks.  Let me tell you right now, I am not a Kevin Costner fan by any means, but this movie actually proved to me that the man can act on occasion.  Or it may be that his typical inhuman method of delivery was particularly well suited for the role of a serial killer.  But point being, almost all the actors delivered in this movie and combined with a brooding electronic soundtrack and morally ambiguous mystery plot, this movie is pretty freaking awesome.

Mr Brooks (Costner) is the successful head of a box making company who is also a sociopath with an imaginary friend, Mr Marshall (Hurt).  The story starts with Mr Brooks receiving an award for “Man of the Year” and then going off to celebrate by killing a couple in sexual congress.  The next day he is visited by Mr Smith (Dane Cook) who then blackmails Mr Brooks into teaching him how to be a serial killer.  Soon after this, Mr Smith is visited by Detective Tracy Atwood (Demi Moore) who is looking for a witness to the previous night’s murder.  Detective Tracy is also the expert on the “thumbprint killer” which unknown to her is of course, Mr Smith.

The overall story for the movie is well thought, creating a mystery and chess match of sorts with Mr Brooks being the only person who seems to see all the pieces.  Some of the best parts of the movie were the inhuman exchanges between Costner and Hurt.  When they laugh at the same jokes they would abrutly stop at the exact same time.  Oftentimes their mannerisms would mimic each other in chilling, unexpected ways.  I kept expecting Dane Cook to ruin the movie for me (as I can’t stand him) but he portrayed his character well (although I’m pretty sure his character was at least partially written with him in mind).

But let’s be straight: this is a movie where the protagonist is a serial killer.  If you have issues with this then this movie is not for you.  If the reason you can watch Dexter is because he only kills bad guys know that Mr Brooks kills anyone he feels like.  There is compensation in that you never know the characters he kills and you never feel anything for their deaths because of the lack of emotional ramifications.  But it still happens.  Which goes into another interesting trend I’ve noticed in movies:  Modern day society loves the villain.

The music in the movie is something that very much stood out.  The only other soundtracks I can think of to compare is the original Resident Evil soundtrack by Marylin Manson minus the heavy tracks.  Dark, brooding, electronic drumbeat oriented, its definitely a soundtrack I will eventually have to purchase.

Now the cons for the movie.  You get to see Kevin Costner naked from the back.  And ladies and homosexual males I should warn you, he got old.

I’m interested in speaking with a psychologist concerning the mental condition of Mr Brooks as a sociopath seemed possibly askew.  Whereas Dexter is a textbook sociopath, Mr Brooks feels bad for killing the people he does.  Mr Marshall never at any point takes over Mr Brooks body, seeming only to be an imaginary friend that puts peer pressure on Mr Brooks to be a sociopath.  Killing is presented as an addiction, a thrill that Mr Brooks can’t shake unless he attends AA meetings regularly.  While this was no deal breaker for me, a staunch expert in mental disorders may take issue.

Again overall, awesome movie.  I highly recommend it and I will buy it for myself on blu ray once I get extra money that’s not going to video games.

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About MusiM
Musician, writer, Gundam model hobbyist, video game lover, host of The Carousel Podcast, and all with a day job.

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