There’s this serial killer (Kevin Costner), see, who is also a rich, successful businessman, loving husband, and father … and already my bullshit alarm is going off. He has an imaginary playmate (William Hurt) whose origin is never explained, but who keeps goading Mr. Niceguy to kill innocent people. Only Mr. Brooks fucks up and a guy across the street takes pictures of his latest kill. Blackmail? Well, only in the sense that the photog wants to kill, too, and learn at the master’s feet. What phenomenal luck! I thought. Of all the people who could have observed him … But wait, it gets better. There’s this cop (Demi Moore), who is rich ($60,000,000) and going through a messy divorce from a grasping asshole, and follows hunches a lot. She’s being stalked by another serial killer (that’s two, and a wannabe) she sent to prison but he escaped … and who just happens to pull into a 7-11 while Brooks and the wannabe are stalking a guy they plan to kill (who, I wouldn’t have been surprised to learn, was probably another serial killer, and his dog and his pickup truck and his wife, too, only we never find out) … and right in the middle of this Brooks learns that his beloved daughter probably killed a guy with an axe at Stanford, mostly likely because she enjoys it … only we never find out if she was a killer or not, but we are treated to one of the lamest “Oh, god, it was only a bad dream” sequences I’ve ever seen … enough, enough, enough! How we made it through to the end of this piece of shit I’ll never know. Maybe I was just too stunned at its surpassing awfulness that I didn’t have the strength to hit the EJECT button. IMDb.com
Mr. Brooks (2007) I’m going to post this review because I was stunned and amazed by something. I wrote this, having forgotten that we’d seen it before. And you must believe that I didn’t look at my previous review, because I didn’t remember that I wrote it. Then I went to save it in my MOVIE ARCHIVES document and came across the old one. (Did I mention that I was stunned?) Because it seems to illustrate two things:
One: A great mind (ahem; or possibly a faltering one) tends to tackle the same problem in a very similar way, even five years down the line. The whole tone of the earlier review is exactly like the new one, the whole conceit of telling an unlikely story to a credulous listener. And
Two: Much depends (at least for me) on my mood when watching a film. The first time I saw it I savaged it. Now wipe the tape clean, leaving me with only vague memories of the plot, and see it on a night (last night) when I must have been in a mellow and forgiving mood, because I was entertained, at least a little. So, here is my second review. I think you should probably read the first one first. It’s just before this one on the page. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
TAKE TWO: See, Mr. Brooks (Kevin Costner) is a very successful businessman, loves his wife and daughter, but by night he is compelled to go out and kill people with his imaginary buddy, William Hurt, and Demi Moore is a Portland Police detective who is on his trail, but one of the insane serial killers she put away, called the Hangman, has escaped, and vowed to kill her, and at the same time her piece-of-shit ex wants 5 million dollars of the 60 mill her daddy left her, and the Hangman and his POS girlfriend grabs her and almost kill her but she gets away, and in the meantime the police are questioning Brooks’ daughter about a hatchet murder and he’s wondering if she has the same mental disease he has, as if he didn’t have enough trouble with this dipshit that took pictures of him at a murder scene was so turned on that he wants Brooks to teach him how to murder (well, that’s the easy part, isn’t it, it’s the getting away with it that usually gives a lot of trouble), and so Brooks decides to … end this long run-on sentence. Does this sound like way too much plot to you (and I haven’t come anywhere near the end yet)? It does to me, too, all wildly unlikely, but somewhat to my surprise I didn’t mind it as much as I might have. I’m not sure why. Lee says it has a cult following. I sure wouldn’t recommend it, but I can’t say I was bored.