Review by Jack Foley
MR Brooks (Kevin Costner) is a hugely successful company director with a beautiful wife and family. He’s also a serial killer, driven by an insatiable alter ego named Marshall (William Hurt).
When he’s “caught in the act” by a peeping Tom amateur photographer from across the street (Dane Cook), he suddenly finds himself being blackmailed and hunted by a dogged police detective (Demi Moore).
Bruce A Evans directs and co-penned the screenplay for Mr Brooks, an intriguing entry into the serial killer genre that ultimately suffers from the same kind of split personality as the central character himself.
The film is at its best when exploring the psychology of its leading man, an enigmatic charmer who finds himself repeatedly unable to resist his darker half. But it turns horribly bad whenever it extends beyond the central duo.
Costner and Hurt have fun exploring the dynamics of the character, playing a cat and mouse game with each other, as well as the police, as they savour and debate the merits of the thrill that follows each kill.
But Demi Moore is woefully out of her depth as the detective on their trail, succumbing to just about every stereotype in the movie detective handbook and making things laughable as a result. Dane Cook fares better as the blackmailer suffering from hero envy but isn’t really given enough time to make his character count.
Director Evans does manage to muster a couple of smart twists to keep the story ticking along (such as a subplot involving Mr Brooks’ daughter) but any benefit of the doubt you’re prepared to extend the film is eventually undone by a wholly unconvincing conclusion.
The end result is a failure that not even the good work done by Costner and Hurt can redeem.
Running time: 2hrs
UK DVD Release: March 10, 2008