Kevin Costner is MR BROOKS – Movie Review
BOTTOM LINE: Intriguingly dark film which gives you the chance to see Kevin Costner being very bad for a change, but the film gets distracted too much by Demi Moore's police/divorce B-story which takes too much screen time away from the main event of watching Costner do his thing.
THE GOOD: The idea of watching Kevin Costner in anything may be a turn-off for some people but I looked forward to seeing him take on a character such as Mr Brooks that was so different to anything he's done before. It's made all the more creepy in that he has a dialogue with William Hurt, the representation of Mr Brooks' evil side who nobody ever sees. Their scenes are very effective and disturbing. For the most part, William Hurt is the evil guy here with Kevin Costner really just being the ordinary guy being pushed by his malevolent alter-ego. The story of Mr Brooks reluctantly taking on an apprentice is also a different take and quite twisted. However, what makes it all worthwile is the surprising twist towards the end of the film which does not come out of nowhere and actually makes sense, and it also gives Costner the opportunity to be the creepy one when he turns on his apprentice. The odd thing in films such as this is that you actually become sympathetic with the character's journey, even one as troubled and mentally twisted as Mr Brooks. There's also a disturbing link with his daughter who may have picked up the serial-killer gene from her father.
THE BAD: It's a shame that the filmmakers chose to include a story that for the most part doesn't tie in well with the Brooks storyline. The plot surrounding Demi Moore's tough police woman on the hunt for the serial killer Mr Brooks on the surface is tied in to the story, but for some reason, we get a whole side-bar on her impending divorce and her daily life away from it. This film was sold on the idea of watching Kevin Costner as a serial killer so why don't we get to see that for the bulk of the time we're watching the film? A little strange. It of course eventually ties together, but not in any streamlined, efficient way. Not to say Demi Moore is not very good here, but the script's structure definitely needed to be fine tuned to tie this in better – that, or an effective use of the scissors in the cutting room. As a result, a lot of the tension evaporates out of the film. In short, a film that should have been about 100 minutes long end up being 2+ hours and for no good reason.