American Psycho 2

Review Date:
Director: Morgan J. Freeman
Writer: Karen Craig, Alex Sanger
Producers: Ernie Barbarash
Mila Kunis
William Shatner
Geraint Wyn Davies
A young girl who grew up idolizing a serial killer is now in college, dreaming to become her favorite teacher’s assistant. But what’s this? There are other students who are also in the running for the vacant position? Well, it appears as though this chickiedee has learned a thing or two about her idol’s wicked ways and the bodies…they start a-dropping.
Forget the fact that this straight-to-video flick is the bastardized sequel of my favorite film of 2000, AMERICAN PSYCHO, and consider it on its own terms as I did, and you’re still not likely to forgive it for being made, but you might get half a kick out of it nonetheless. Unlike its potent predecessor, which struck every conceivable chord as a dark satire, this is basically an 83-minute light comedy with dark undertones, and very little memorable scenes or discussion points about it (unless you consider plot holes, discussion). One thing that it does have in common with the former flick is a charismatic lead actor, played here by the lovely Mila Kunis, competently strolling through her part with the ideal mix of levity and charm. Of course, I still consider Christian Bale’s performance from AMERICAN PSYCHO as one of the better acting presentations from the past few years by any actor, but that’s another story altogether. One other thing that I enjoyed about movie was its score. Talk about catchy! It’s one of those finger-snapping ditties that gave the film its ideal sense of goofiness (if that’s what they were going for). Very nicely done. It’s a good thing too since the rest of the film is pretty forgettable all around. What starts off as an interesting “light” movie, quickly downshifts into many ridiculous situations, in which people are killed on campus, left and right, but nobody seems to notice. And as charming as Kunis is in her role, it doesn’t hide the fact that the whole thing barely lasts an hour and a half, packs zero character development for anyone but her, rarely shows any killings, and even more importantly, never really explains how this tiny girl can do such things. There’s “suspension of disbelief” and then there’s bad screenwriting…this film packs a wallop of the latter.

Does it entertain? Well, I can’t say that I was ever bored during the movie, but then again, do you watch films in the hopes that they simply “not bore” you or do you actually want to enjoy them? William Shatner is also miscast and gets in the way as the professor. Why didn’t they just hire a no-name actor for his part, so that I wouldn’t get put off by the fact that Captain Kirk was pretending to be an ex-FBI agent all the time (who incidentally, was supposed to be one of the best agents around, but can barely keep his dick in his pants long enough to notice a serial killer on campus in this film). The showdown scene between himself and Kunis is particularly bad, especially its finale. The plot holes are also many, especially when you start thinking back and asking yourself how nobody could have seen this or that, or how she could have planned all of these things so perfectly. The narration also got “old” after a while, and I can always do without musical montages (aka lazy filmmaking). Actually, if it wasn’t for the likeable turn by Kunis as the psycho-chick, I would tell you to skip this one altogether, but thankfully she’s quite good in her role and easy on the eyes to boot (she also looks like Katie Holmes every now and again). So don’t go in expecting the greatness that was the original, in fact, just pretend that this is an unconnected movie altogether, and you might enjoy its fluffiness and catchy score if you can ignore the obvious gaps in plot. No real suspense, horror, great dialogue or surprise ending either…but there is a whole lotta levity and some charm. Oh yeah, and worse come to worse…check it out to see how Morgan Freeman does in his directorial debut…just kidding!! (the name of this film’s director is actually Morgan J. Freeman-no relation to the great actor)

Note: BTW, I knocked an extra point off this film’s rating on “principle” alone. For Lion’s Gate to tarnish the good reputation of the original movie by creating this ditzy sequel is something that I personally find despicable. Even more so because this film re-invents the powerful ambiguous conclusion of its predecessor, by telling us that Patrick Bateman was, in fact, an all-out serial killer. I beg to differ, my good man…watch the original again and don’t go changing the history of a great film just to serve your own financial purposes. Sadly enough, Lion’s Gate is known to bolster independent and artsy pictures, which makes their decision that much stranger all around.

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian