I love what you're thinking. - Marshall
Although Kevin Costner somewhat fell from Hollywood grace after the Waterworld
debacle and the end of his first marriage due to his much publicized poon-hunting ways (hey, a man’s gotta cut that edge); I never lost my esteem for the guy. He was and has always been Kevin “f*cking” Costner to me (since I saw him in the underrated flick REVENGE anyways)! So it was with eagerness (and a flak of JD) that I stormed in the theatre to have a
tete a tete with MR. BROOKS. Fortunately the gent did not let me down.
Not since 3000 Miles to Graceland, and A Perfect World has Costner played such a somber role and much like those aforementioned films; Costner played this part with such conviction, nuances and heart that he locked my sympathy-vote at Frame 2. I was so rooting, and stabbing for Mr. Brooks to pull through! That’s when the film was at its strongest; when it focused on Mr. Brooks, his inner struggles, his genuine attempts at being a good man and his snow-balling shenanigans. I was having a hoot! To top that off; boy was it a thrill to witness Costner and William Hurt ping-pong-ing together acting wise. With all the teeny bop horror drivel that’s been shoved in my face for the last 2 years; it was a delight to see two acting veterans go for the gold in a genre flick... via razor written “grey zone” roles at that! What a blast! They were so “on” it wasn’t even funny!
On a narrative standpoint; the flick kept shifting direction and gunned out a couple of “out there” ideas and back-handing plot twists that I grooved to. To be honest, my one brain cell was so stimulated by this zany ride that I was always trying to second guess it as to the new routes it would take. I was more often than none right on the money but that didn’t change the fact that I had a lot of fun when my guesses came true and rolled on the screen. Topple on top of all that loving an even pace, two nifty gore gags, endearing circumstantial humor (I laughed out loud a few times) and evocative visuals/score that frequently elevated the movie's emotional juice to a higher plane by pushing the right buttons and you get a compelling 2 hour character study of a nut-job who looks a damn lot like Kevin Costner.
Now the affair was far from perfect. Its storyline often relied on convenient coincidences to evolve and definitely tried to do WAYYYYY too much at the same time. One subplot would arise, which would then give birth to another subplot that would then tie in with yet another subplot... I was “suplotted" the f*ck out! Focusing solely on Mr. Brooks’ plight, his new tag-along kill-pal whilst inter-cutting with the ongoing investigation would’ve been enough for me! I didn’t need that whole “cop getting divorced”, daughter comes back home, ladida stuff. That took precious screen time away from what I truly cared about: Mr. Brooks. With that spat in your ear; I still respected the film’s striving for more attitude. Better that than lazy and safe goals. Finally; I found it a damn shame that the wife angle got lost in the shuffle early on (could’ve done something morbid with that) and I could’ve easily went without the random over stylized music-video-ish directing choices (that hallway shoot-out felt like it belonged in another film...starring Ja Rule or something...).
Even with its storyline boo-boos though; the film was never painful to sit through and consistently entertained me! Kevin Costner and William Hurt made sure of that! I could’ve watched those guys own the scenery for two hours and been content with just that. The rest was gravy. Nice to have finally met ya Mr. Brooks! Hope to see you again real soon!