American Psycho 2 (2002)
Director: Morgan J. Freeman
Geraint Wyn Davies/Daniels
Hot-to-trot college student Rachel (Kunis) will do anything to get the assistant teacher position that will eventually lead her to Quantico (badass FBI school). What do I mean when I say "anything"? Cooking breakfast? Steamy threesomes? Rotating the tires on one's car? NOPE! I mean, murdering her competition….ouuuuu...
I totally adored the "American Psycho" novel and its brilliant cinematic adaptation. So, YES, I was dreading this obvious cash-in slut of a sequel in a hardcore way. It’s common knowledge that Lion’s Gate dusted off an old screenplay and tweaked it to have it fit (very loosely) the AP universe. Being the AP purist that I am, THAT PISSED ME OFF! I’ve finally experienced this PMS-inclined sequel and here’s my take.
If you can forget that this silly rabbit is an "American Psycho" sequel, you might derive some guilty cinematic orgasms from it. I managed to get some good vibrations out of it but it was at times hard on the die-hard AP fanboy piece of my soul. The flashbacks to that Patrick Bateman poseur (THERE’S ONLY ONE PB AND THAT’S CHRISTIAN BALE...GRRRR!) and the numerous winks at the first flick, made it rough for me to separate both films. I mean, did they really have to echo lines from the original (they even copy the feel of the closing line) or slap in a dude doodling gory drawings in a scrapbook like Bateman did in AP? Give me a break! This sequel isn’t in the same league as "American Psycho", it doesn’t have its depth, its moments of high satirical wit, its class or its audacity. Every time this so-called sequel attempted to tie both films together; or nod to the original; I’d laugh my ass off in disgust. Don’t even try it mofos...not even close.
Having said that, I still found some jerky pleasure in this campy B whack- off. Its main treat is, without question, its strong lead: adorable Mila Kunis (Rachel). You’ll forget all about motor mouth Jackie from “That 70’s Show” while watching this bad girl go. Ninety eight percent of my smiles came from her delicious performance, her varied assortment of cutie facial expressions and her tight, sweet ass (I never noticed how fit and curvy it was…impressive). Girlfriend carries the weight of the flick on her back like a little trooper and with a less charismatic actress it could’ve easily been a total bust. As for the movie itself, it surprisingly rolls very smoothly with a tight pace, a swift length (88 minutes) and a sometimes polished “music video feel”. I also got into some of the film’s tongue in cheek jive, the ok written narration that was boosted in quality thanks to Mila’s spot-on delivery, the engaging Rachel/shrink (Daniels) repartee, big headed Bill Shatner (who comes through playing Booby the ladies man! Go figure!) and the subtle touches of humor (like that insecure waiter or the shrink’s mother…LOL).
Along with Kunis dominating the screen, the hip music in this slasher party is its other highest card. I welcomed the kooky score with zipped down zipper. It gave the film that kool offbeat tone. I also want to take a moment and light a candle for the tight tracks in this film….”light”. The engaging ditties always wound up cleverly commenting on the action taking place on the screen and I loved it! The councilor bashing sequence for example (man, was that bitch annoying in a funny way….”Ricky Martin”! LOL) had me rolling on the floor like a toddler on “Ritalin”. The tune accompanying that bit was perfecto-mundo for what went down (yes, bad things do happen…you’ll see).
Which brings me to the bummer; the impotent murders. The first kill was groovy, but the other ones were nothing short of unmemorable. Mila nude, wearing a pair of white sox and brandishing a chainsaw sure could’ve helped out in that department. Some of the kills are total throwaways (Mila actually talks a person to death and gives him/her the coup de grace with a blow kiss: it didn’t work for me) and others are clumsily handled (if somebody is choking me from behind with a “fill in the blank”, my first instinct would be to pull at the “fill in the blank”, not just stand there and let the life drain out of me). More novel and daring chop-chops would’ve been appreciated. Here it’s a watered down Friday the 13th night at the Psycho house.
On a script level, this baby worked like a charm when it kept it simple but every time it tried to reach a bit further, it would fall flat on its face. I loathed the red herring angle they slapped in there early on in regards to who the baddie might be. I mean, we know who the culprit is…JUST LOOK AT THE BOX COVER! The film never went far enough with its “whodunit” vibe for its presence to be justified. I thought this “Scream” type of convention was done with! I guess not. I also didn’t swallow the way the shrink misunderstood a key piece of info or the explanation that revealed how Rachel’s babysitter wound up in Bateman’s apartment. Both were beyond weak. To be fair though, there was one plot twist near the end that I did enjoy…fun stuff!
Plot holes also arose on occasion. Like how come nobody is noticing that A-list students are missing left and right? Or how can Rachel "off" folks and dispose of their bodies in public places without ever getting pinched? Lazy screenwriting anyone? It worked in the original film but here IT'S NOT IN HER HEAD! IT’S FOR REAL, SO ADDRESS IT! There also the occasional clock-time padding, like that scene where Rachel goes for a healthy jog. What did that have to do with anything? Apart from giving me the pleasure of seeing Mila Kunis in jogging pants (she wears a g-string…yippee) and making me laugh by the overall corniness of the sequence, this had no business in here.
So where is the axe falling? Well, let’s face it; the screenplay, directing and the film’s bravery are not up to par with the original "American Psycho". But as a stand alone, kitschy, more conventional slasher...it worked. It’s tacky, easy on the eyes/ears and pleasant enough to peek under its skirt to witness the goods. Let’s put on our rain coats, time to draw blood! Hey Paul ARRRGGGGGGGG! SLASH!
Somebody forgot to put the sauce on my freaking T-Bone! There isn’t much in terms of gore to satisfy on any level. We do get an after-the-fact severed head, an OS (off-screen) bashing, a dude with a mop through his skull, a hanging, an OS stabbing, a rotten corpse and light blood but nothing to go barbecue over.
Mila Kunis (Rachel) was the movie for me. Her cute voice, face and butt made it worth my while. Her delivery is also on the ball and her adorably evil facial expressions had my wood chipping (whatever that means). GOOD SHITE, BABY GIRL! William Shatner (Bobby) actually surprised me by giving a credible performance. I was sure that the man’s "star" image would interfere with the part, but it didn’t. Apart from one scene where I felt a little ham and cheese in the air, Shatner in so ON! Geraint Wyn Davies (Daniels) does what he has to do well; his chemistry with his momma cracked me up! Something is going on there. Robin Dunne (Brian) plays the rich nitwit very well and Linda Booth (Cassandra) lets her cleavage do most of the acting, good show girl! Keep it up!
T & A
Mila Kunis looks so enticing. I dug her various hip /sexy outfits and her occasional display of cleavage. Also, seeing her jog is always "fun times" at the dog house. Shatner keeps his shirt on…THANK GOD!
I was split in two when it came to Morgan J. Freeman’s directing style. On one end, I dug the slick angles, the able camera movements and the mostly swift pace. Also, the man sure knows how to piece a montage together with a hip tune. On the other hand, I hated the sometimes cheapo looking slow motion, the TV movie feel he’d occasionally adopt and the lack of suspense whatsoever. I also noticed that in one of the shrink scenes, Mila Kunis is so badly lit that she wound up looking like my grandma. Come on guys! She’s the star! Light the girl right!
We get a big winner here! The score is prefect, giving the film a charming vibe. And the knee-slapping tunes from the likes of Bif Naked, Dirtmitts, Emilianna Torrini (that Dead Things song rocked!) and Tsar made everything more enthralling!
In my opinion, as an official sequel to Mary Harron’s awesome "American Psycho", it ain't all that. But I can see how the genre fiends who didn’t dig the ambiguous original would enjoy this straight forward follow up more though. Setting my purist reservations aside, I can’t deny that I had a swell time with this psycho chick flick on a cheesy stick. Mila and the slick ass tunes really brought the joy home. I gotta get that soundtrack! But calling this an "American Psycho" sequel is the film’s biggest disservice. They should’ve called it “All-American Girl” and not insult the fans of the film/book. I guess when big bucks in foreign sales talks, the fans take a backseat. I’m sure Brett Easton Ellis is rolling around in his grave right about now…and he’s not even dead yet! Another Martini, Brett?
This flick will be out on June 18, 2002 straight to tape/DVD.
Director Morgan J. Freeman's quote on Brett Easton Ellis: If Ellis is drunk at parties and talks shit that’s fine; he wants to live a life that way, that’s fine. But if I could fight him, I’d kick his ass. I hope he keeps it up because it's great publicity for the movie and it makes him look stupid.
Morgan J. Freeman had only 20 days to shoot the film with a $3 Million budget.
Why is Mila holding a “Children of the Corn”-type of weapon on the box cover...? It’s not in the movie.
Mila Kunis is FINE and should give me a call like...NOW!!!