Written by Hombre Divertido
Kevin Costner actually plays a part with some range, though it took the addition of William Hurt to really add depth to Mr. Brooks. It is the relationship between Earl (Costner) and Marshall (Hurt) who both are encompassed by Mr. Brooks that makes him so intriguing.
Mr. Brooks is a successful businessman, dedicated family man, pillar of the community, who just happens to have a penchant for murdering people. Goaded along by Marshall, Earl Brooks picks people, and then picks them off with a great attention to detail, while bringing a class to the story of a serial killer not seen since Dr. Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs.
Director Bruce A. Evans who also co-wrote the film with Raynold Gideon, manages to endear the killer to us with scenes that are light and humorous. The film has an An American Werewolf in London quality to it as we are shocked by the graphic violence, yet still amused by many aspects.
The normal aspects of Mr. Brooks make him relatable to us, which only makes his nocturnal endeavors far more terrifying. The audience can’t help but find itself not only rooting for him to get caught, but to get well.
The supporting cast equally brings a level of quality to the endeavor as does their storylines. Demi Moore as the successful detective out to catch Mr. Brooks and others while dealing with a messy divorce, and Dane Cook as a voyeur who blackmails Mr. Brooks to gain insight into his world, both shine in their respective roles.
This is an entertaining 121 minutes, though Costner’s portrayal and the depiction of the character in the script both seem inconsistent as he is established as somewhat of a nerd, who eventually becomes as smooth as the murderer inside him. Nonetheless, the relationships inside Mr. Brooks and the dialog that stems from said relationships make this film worth seeing.
Scheduled to be the first in a three-part story, it will be interesting to see if the cast returns and if the disease is indeed hereditary.
Recommendation: Should make for an interesting visit to the theatre and create good post-viewing conversation.