Mr Brooks
No, that is neither my knees or your lumbar support.

Theatrical Release Date: 06/01/2007
Director: Bruce A. Evans
Cast: Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, Dane Cook, William Hurt

I like Costner sports movies. Whatever bad, post-apocalyptic choice he has made, his return to a sports related role has served as a reset button of sorts for him. Given that he has yet to have a bona fide hit in a long time, at least he’s also stayed off the radar and not done a sequel to “Waterworld” or “The Postman”.

When I saw the trailer for “Mr. Brooks” a while ago, it intrigued me. It would have intrigued me more if it weren’t Costner, but there was still some interest because I like suspense / thrillers a lot.

After seeing the latest Orlando Bloom epic and not really looking forward to another movie for a few weeks, I decided that I’d go and see this on opening weekend hoping it would both bride the gap until a better movie comes out and also washing the saltwater taste out of my mouth from “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End“.

“Mr. Brooks” was just what I needed. It was also just what Costner needed.

It’s dark. It’s smart. It’s funny in the right places. It could have used a little more suspense, but it was a good movie in the end.

This is only the second movie for director Bruce A. Evans (the first was “Kuffs” starring Christian Slater 15 years ago). This was one hell of a second outing considering the quality of his first film.

The acting was pretty good. Costner did a good job, like he’s capable of doing when there’s a good story. Dane Cook did a surprisingly good job for someone with recent credits including “The Man Show” and “Crank Yankers”. My favorite role was William Hurt who did a great job playing his alter ego / alternate personality / voice in his head. And I have to mention about how much Hurt looked like Steve Jobs (Apple CEO).

However, Demi Moore is to “Mr. Brooks” what Angelina Jolie is to “The Good Shepherd” – she is the weakest link of the cast (good bye).

First of all she’s not a good actress. It’s a supporting role with her usual overacting and you just think she shouldn’t be there. It’s hard to think of the type of actress that would be better in this role, but I think someone like an Amanda Peet or a Diane Venora would have given it a little bit of believability. Moore fits into a role as a stripper smitten by a senator, not a cop chasing serial killers.

Most critics have gone on record on saying that the story is the star of this film. I’m not going to disagree with them. It’s complex, but not overly so, and it deals with both basic themes and ones that are much less common but fascinating to most.

I have two gripes about the movie (I guess three if you count Demi Moore which we already covered).

One is that there is too much killing for it to be realistic. There are two separate serial killers being pursued by the same policewoman; one aspiring serial killer, and the possibility of another serial killer. Given that I studied serial killers in my undergrad days, I’m pretty sure this is not only unprecedented, but is virtually impossible in the manner that it played itself out as it did in Mr. Brooks.

The second is the interaction between Costner and Hurt. These are verbal exchanges between the two that can take place in the midst of an exchange with someone another character. It takes a little bit to realize that the conversation between the two only occurs in the head of Mr. Brooks.

But those gripes are minor in the end because it is a fun ride to be on. There is a lot of detail in here, and it’s not wasted. It is graphic and/or bloody at times, but that is needed to tell a story such as this as well as it does.

“Mr. Brooks” is right on the edge of a 3 or 4 for me, and I’m really having a hard time deciding. Because of the gripes I’ll give it a very high 3 out of 5 with the possibility of changing my rating to 4 after future viewings.