Saturday, 13 June 2009

Mr Brooks


Serial killer movies are two-a-penny, but a film starring Kevin Costner, William Hurt and Demi Moore cannot easily be dismissed as run-of-the-mill, and I found Mr Brooks, a 2007 film, to be a cut above most movies featuring sociopaths, benefiting from a complex plot which is nevertheless not so convoluted as to be incomprehensible.

Costner plays the eponymous Mr Brooks. He is a rich, successful and popular businessman with a gorgeous blonde wife and lovely daughter at college, but he is also a recovering serial killer who (in a scene that I didn’t find wholly convincing) even turns up at an AA meeting and announces himself as suffering from an unspecified addiction.

It’s two years since Mr Brooks last killed, but he’s getting the urge again, prompted by his mysterious alter ego, played by William Hurt – whom nobody else can see or hear. Hurt is one of my favourite actors. He never seems to play a character who is wholly likeable, but even at his nastiest, he is very watchable, with a trademark sly wit. He encourages Mr Brooks to kill a pair of lovers – but the crime is spotted by a creepy voyeur, who decides that he wants Mr Brooks to induct him into the world of psychotic murder. To add to the complications, the cop who is pursuing Mr Brooks is herself being pursued by a killer bent on revenge, while her own divorce leads quite literally to murder. And if that’s not enough, it seems that Mr Brooks’ daughter wants to follow in Dad’s footsteps….

Blimey. There’s enough material in all that for three movies. Of course, Mr Brooks is preposterous. But it’s very well done, and the stars do a great job that enabled me to suspend my disbelief for the best part of two hours.

8 comments:

Bernadette in Australia said...

I thought this movie would be pretty bad based on the blurb (and the fact I'm not a big fan of Costner) but I found it surprisingly engaging and satisfyingly creepy.

Martin Edwards said...

Hello, Bernadette. If you haven't seen it, I can recommend No Way Out starring Costner, which is based on a wonderful novel called The Big Clock - in fact, it's a remake of the original film of TBC.

crimeficreader said...

Thanks for writing about that one, Martin. I feel like a bit of movie viewing and it was quite cheap on Amazon. I've always liked Hurt since I saw him in The Big Chill. I haven't watched that one again for a long time now. Costner was always in it, but his part ended up on the cutting room floor.

Back in Jan I went to see Mandy Patinkin in London. In between songs he rambled on a bit and came out with a little anecdote on Hurt. They were both at the same place when they learnt their acting craft and he was "Bill" in those days. As soon he hit the big time, he was to become known as "William" only.

Martin Edwards said...

Hi Rhian, have you seen Hurt in Body Heat? Utterly brilliant.

crimeficreader said...

Yes. One of my faves too. Loved the ice cream scene!

Also thought Gorky Park very good.

Sunnie Gill said...

Bernadette, "creepy" is the adjective I had in mind when I logged in to post. You've beaten me to it..

Hurt, dressed in black and looking over Mr Brooks' shoulder all the time was very creepy.

I'm not a big Costner fan usually. He's made some very silly movies, but I did enjoy him in this one.

Another one of is movies I loved was THE UPSIDE OF ANGER. A bit of a chick flick where he plays opposite a washed up base ball player who has a radio talk show and drinks too much. Dianne Lane is his co-star in that movie.

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Sunnie. He really is a good actor in almost any role, I think.

Bernadette in Australia said...

I've got No Way Out coming to me via my DVD rental service, thanks Martin