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Mr. Brooks (2007)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Bruce A. Evans

Starring:
Kevin Costner/Mr. Brooks
Demi Moore/Det. Atwood
William Hurt/Marshall
PLOT-CRUNCH
Mr. Brooks (Costner) has it all: a loving wife, a beautiful daughter and moulah up the ying-yang. Too bad his split personality (brilliantly played by William Hurt) and his urge to kill keep threatening to destroy his picture perfect life. Too bad for him that is…GOOD FOR US!
THE LOWDOWN

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!

GORE
The film wasn’t a gore fest by any means but that slit throat, scissor gag and brutal shooting sure left an impression on me!
ACTING
Kevin Costner (Mr. Brooks) is a real movie star one that exudes presence galore via a captivating sense of stillness. Here Costner managed to communicate internal conflict, machine gun thoughts and layers with little actual physical movement. The man knows how to play up to a film camera!Amazing! Demi Moore (Det. Atwood) was empathetic and able as the cop with problems of her own. William Hurt (Marshall) always rocks it and seeing him spar with Costner was a freaking blast! Dane Cook (Mr. Smith) did the scuzzball thing well and let his facial hair gap the rest. Marg Helgenberger (Emma Brooks) had a strong chemistry with Costner...when she was in the film that is. Danielle Panabaker did what she had to do with class! She's pretty damn hot too!
T & A
We get some tinsy-bitsy-tiny titties and a swift flash of bush (landing-strip baby... bon voyage). The dames are treated to some Costner butt-slab and Dane Cook sucking in that gut like a champ.
DIRECTING
I was digging it the most when Bruce A. Evans low-keyed it. Well placed slow motion, measured camera movements, efficient use of close-ups and striking establishing shots. He didn’t fare as well when it came to the more action inclined bits. Too flashy for this kind of film and too tightly edited. Just my opinion for what it's worth… last I checked, it aint worth spit.
SOUNDTRACK
We get a synthesizer type score that went from subdued and bleak to loud and engaging. I also enjoyed that evocative end credit song by The Veils.
BOTTOM LINE
Mr. Brooks snagged me in off the bat and kept me there with stellar performances by Costner and Hurt, an effortless pace, arresting audio/visual tendencies and an ever evolving storyline (for better and worse) that kept me on my toes. Yup; there were too many plot threads going on for my liking and suspension of disbelief had to be my whore now and again for me to go along with the further twists but funnily enough that didn't blemish my enjoyment factor much; if at all. I was in the passenger seat with Mr. Brooks the whole way; didn’t matter where the mofo took me; I was just happy to be there... sharing quality time! Recommended, especially for Costner fans!
BULL'S EYE
Word has it that Kevin Costner would like this flick to spark a trilogy.

Bruce A. Evans hadn't directed a flick since the underrated Christian Slater effort Kuffs in 1992.

VISIT THE OFFICIAL MR. BROOKS SITE HERE

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