Thursday, June 07, 2007

 

Cheering for Kevin Costner, or should I say, ‘Mr. Brooks’


At a recent screening, a colleague responds with an are-you-kidding-me stare when I share my excitement for director Bruce Evans’ Kevin Costner thriller “Mr. Brooks.” I happily explain the reasons for my high anticipation without an ounce of guilt.
It’s not enough that “Mr. Brooks” is the increasingly rare adult movie surrounded by an ever-growing pile of family-oriented blockbusters. Better yet, it’s also a suspense drama, a clever Jekyll and Hyde-inspired psycho-thriller co-written by Raynold Gideon (John Carpenter’s “Starman”) and Evans.
Post-viewing, I have to admit that “Mr. Brooks” relied a bit too much on action chases for my taste — I don’t care how geriatric it sounds to say, Imagine what Hitchcock would have done with this story, I’ll say it anyway. Still, “Brooks’s” adult pleasures far outweigh its faults. Kevin Costner (left) finds believable creepiness in his character’s blonde, bland persona. As a hipster artist looking to blackmail Brooks, Dane Cook keeps his smarmy brand of comedy in check. Demi Moore is all surface-level gusto as the police detective trailing Brooks. Still, it’s good to see Moore back on-screen. Only the William Hurt truly stumbles as a character best described as Brook’s devilish advisor, a Jekyll-like cliché. Like I said, Hitchcock would have done things better but the very fact that I’m even mentioning the one-time Master of Suspense says there’s plenty to like about “Mr. Brooks.”

“Mr. Brooks,” released by MGM, is playing in commercial theaters across America throughout June, or however long it can last against more popular summer blockbusters.

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