I didn’t expect to like Mr. Brooks although I was originally intrigued by the idea of Robin Hood playing a serial killer. The first 15 minutes of the film I thought my original feeling was right–I wasn’t going to like this film. The deaths were raw, there was awkward nudity and William Hurt was talking to Kevin Costner (Mr. Brooks), yet no one else could hear him. Yeah, it definitely seemed weird, but after the first 15 minutes the plot finally started to take off with many twists and turns ahead.

OK so let me back up. Mr. Brooks is a successful businessman, recently named business man of the year in his hometown of Oregon. He has a beautiful wife (Marg Helgenberger) and teenage daughter (Danielle Penebaker), plus a hidden insatiable appetite for killing. He also has a split personality in the form of actor William Hurt, who represents inner blood thirstiness.

The film also co-stars comedian Dane Cook, who does a good job playing a slimy guy interested in learning how to kill from the famous Thumbprint Killer, Mr. Brooks. He finally has the chance to be his prot©g© via a little blackmail that he stumbles upon, which incriminates Mr. Brooks. So, reluctantly Mr. Brooks takes on a sidekick of sorts and shows him the ways of his tortured mind. Yet, who’s playing who?

I saw a couple of short TV trailers for the film, yet was surprised to see Demi Moore was among the cast. I’m not sure why they haven’t played that up since she hasn’t been in anything for quite awhile now. Anyway, she plays a sexy but hard detective who has been tracking the Thumbprint Killer for years now and is dying to close the case, especially since her personal life is going down the tubes. Her character reminded me of one of those super strong female detectives from a Nora Roberts book, a bit hardboiled and predictable but still good all the same.

What I was surprised most with this film is that because Mr. Brooks is the bad character you can’t help but follow him and are even forced to identify with a killer. At times I found myself saying, be careful you’ll get caught, yet I had no reason to like the guy but he’s the only viewpoint we are given completely.

The film also tackles the idea of nature vs. nurture and the role genetics plays in the evil seed theory.

Without giving much away, the film tries to take on a lot of sub plots, for instance theirs two other killers featured along the way and they later converge, which is a big unbelievable. However, I liked the fact that these sub plots kept me guessing and made things more unpredictable when guessing what would come next. Yes, the acting is mediocre, but the cast is popular and the action moves the story along nicely, just get past the first 15 minutes and the clich© characters and you’ll be fine. In fact, this little thriller had me reflecting on it for awhile after leaving the theater, which I appreciated.

Grade: B-

dvd-mrbrooks.jpg Release Date: October 23, 2007
Rated: R
Running Time: 120 minutes
Cast: Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, Dane Cook, William Hurt, Marg Helgenberger
Director: Bruce A. Evans
Studio: MGM
Buy: Amazon.com
Also Available: Blu-Ray

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