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Jun 12, 2007

Fletch's Film Review: Mr. Brooks

One thing is obvious: if you aren't a rabid fan of Dane Cook's, don't go to see Mr. Brooks (aka the "Kevin Costner as a bad guy movie") at a theater near you. For despite the fact that Cook is playing a dramatic role in a dramatic film, the hordes of teens and twentysomethings at the showing I attended were obviously hanging on his every word, and laughing at all of them. Beyond annoying.

The film as a whole fares better, but not by that much. When you get past the protagonist / antagonist nature of Costner's role, and imagine instead if it were played by another actor, you can't help but notice how generic the movie is. Look - there's Demi Moore as a hardened cop on the search for a pair of serial killers! She's even got some standard-issue Ray-Bans! Look - there's William Hurt hamming it up (nice for a change to see him genial for the large portion of a movie) as Costner's "dark side!" Look - there's Dane Cook being really funny, even when he's not! You get the idea. (It's also worth noting that for all the hype surrounding Costner's Vader-like move to the dark side, he's a polite, caring guy 93% of the time - the real news would have been if he and Hurt switched characters.)

The story itself takes on a lot, with a few clever twists here and there (Cook's character's motivation, for starters), but does not impress. Costner's Brooks is a whip-smart businessman, having built an empire for he and his family, with an addiction to murder on the side (I guess two heads thinking are better than one). Though the good half of him wants to quit killing and just escape with his loving but obviously dumb wife (a wasted Marg Helgenberger, filling her CSI hiatus time by paying the bills, apparently) and doting on his troubled daughter, who has just returned home from college for a variety of reasons. Brooks attends AA meetings, but alas, does not meet Bob and cry away his problems. After getting caught in the act (in a manner of speaking), he's forced to show a potential protege his ways - the worst possible situation for a guy that just wants to quit. Meanwhile, Moore's cop is hot on his tail and closing in. What will become of Mr. Brooks?

It doesn't really matter. If your intention is to be shocked by Costner, you'll see the film, but be disappointed. If you're wanting to see a sharp thriller, you'd be better served trying to catch the last screening of Fracture. But if you want to see a film set in Portland, this is the movie for you.

A couple leftover thoughts:

* Great poster - simple, yet effective.

* Though I'm really not trying to bag on Costner too much (he has been great in his career before), if you listen carefully, he starts off the film (the first ten minutes or so) with a faint accent, though I can't tell what its origins are supposed to be. However, it totally disappears, never to be heard again. Considering his past with accents (coughRobinHoodcough), I'm surprised he went to that well at all in the first place.

* If you ever felt security with the chain lock on your front door (not that you did, really), you won't have any left after this. Such a simple removal, yet one that I had never seen on film before (nor thought of, to be honest).

Fletch's Film Rating:

"Whatever."


3 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's Film Review: Mr. Brooks"

Gaylord said...

Costner's bad accents peaked with 13 Days, probably the worst fake Boston accent in the history of time...

bd79 said...

Why the hell did they put Dane Cook in this movie? It's not even if it's used as a casting stunt for publicity, b\c I've never noticed him in the previews.

Fletch said...

If you were unaware of Cook before seeing the movie, aside from the annoying fans in the theater, you might not know he was famous beforehand. He does a decent job (not much is asked of him, on the other hand) in a supporting role.

Though he sure as hell looks ugly in it. I thought the ladies liked this guy?