A businessman leads a double life as a serial killer and must keep his homicidal tendencies at bay when a blackmailer catches him in the act.
Mr. Brooks (2007)
Directed by Bruce A. Evans
Written by Bruce A. Evans and Raynold Gideon
Starring Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, William Hurt, Dane Cook, Danielle Panabaker, Marg Helgenberger, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Matt Schulze, Aisha Hinds, Jason Lewis, Lindsay Crouse
Kevin Costner has never been one to venture out of his comfort zone. He's always played the noble hero or the dry yet intriguing male lead. That's why his turn as sociopathic killer Earl Brooks is so fantastic. It's almost like a role that Costner was meant to play, as he falls into it perfectly. He alone makes Mr. Brooks a fascinating look into the inner workings of a sadistic but reluctant mind. This is a film that successfully ripped off Dexter without seeming like it was ripping off Dexter. Yet, despite my obvious enjoyment of the film, it had its problems, some of which were so blatant that I couldn't ignore them.
My biggest issue with the film is Dane Cook. I've never enjoyed his comedy and I think he's a terrible actor. I don't know why he's in this very serious crime thriller, but it feels like he walked off the set of Good Luck Chuck and kept doing his shtick and nobody stopped him. All of his scenes bring the movie to a screeching halt and momentarily turn the film into a weak parody of itself. If anybody else had been cast in the role of Mr. Smith, this film would've been golden. You've got Costner's excellent performance alongside a delightfully creepy William Hurt playing Mr. Brooks's dark conscience. Even Demi Moore (another actress I've never really cared for) does a serviceable job, even if her character never gets any sort of resolution.
I would definitely watch this film again, though it does falter towards the end. The ending is abrupt and leaves a number of loose ends that I think the filmmakers were planning to answer in the cancelled sequel. I wanted some more insight into Demi Moore's character and the tease of a cat and mouse game at the end between her and Brooks was too tantalizing to leave in the wind. The film probably could've done with a quick rewrite, but the finished product is far better than I expected.