Details: (MA15+), 120 mins, United States, English
Synopsis: Earl Brooks (Kevin Costner) - successful businessman, loving husband and father - is secretly an insatiable serial murderer known as The Thumbprint Killer, so clever no one has ever suspected him-until now. After two years of inactivity, his pathological compulsion is inflamed again by his wicked alter ego, Marshall (William Hurt). When succumbing to one more urge to murder Mr. Brooks commits his first mistake and is seen by peeping Tom photographer (Dane Cook), who tries to blackmail him with a bizarre demand. The crime sets off Tracy Atwood (Demi Moore) a tenacious detective, whose acrimonious divorce and an escaped killer complicates her drive to solve the identity of the Thumbprint Killer.
This film is silly at best, offensive at worst.
Mr Brooks (Kevin Costner) is a super intelligent, wealthy, successful businessman with great looks and a perfect family… the only hitch, He’s a serial killer… what a bummer!
By day he’s urbane, by night he hunts down lovers, kills them, arranges their bodies in sexual positions and leaves only bloody thumb prints as his signature.
Brooks has a crazy alter ego named Marshall (William Hurt) who eggs him on and mocks his desperate attempts at sobriety. That’s right, he’s in an AA programme. He chants the serenity prayer to try and stay “clean”. These spooky filmmakers are suggesting serial killing is a disease like other addictions and can be controlled by a 12 step programme.
Add to this mix a peeping Tom (comedian Dane Cook) who is an aspiring killer; Demi Moore a multi-millionaire Detective (don’t ask); and a recently escaped serial killer (no not Mr Brooks,) who’s hunting our poor-Demi and you have… well… a mess …. but a strangely engaging and at times entertaining. It’s the sort of enjoyment you get from a big bold 80’s soap!
Co-Written and directed by Bruce A. Evans, this is a big budget, glossy production. The screenplay was written with Costner in mind (playing against type). Unfortunately, their casting choice inadvertently turns Mr Brooks into a hero. Now call me boring, but gee, I found it hard rooting for a serial killer.
Costner does puts in a good performance, possibly one of his best in years. But his character does so much soul searching, it sits at odds with a film about … let’s face it, a despicable creature.
The rest of the supporting cast try their best but the material is just too implausible.
I wonder if Demi Moore even considered trying to act like she had a headache after being thrown from a van travelling at 160 kms? I was just so relieved that her beautiful hair remained in place.
Unless you are absolutely aghast at the thought that serial killing has a 12 step solution, Mr Brooks will not offend.
It will however, make you giggle… Unfortunate for the filmmakers, it was not intended as a comedy.
This film is silly at best, offensive at worst. I’m giving this one 2.5 stars.
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