Thursday, May 31, 2007

'Mr. Brooks 2?'

The advanced screening of "Mr. Brooks" was greeted by an eager and seemingly satisfied crowd last night at Regal Cinemas Bossier Corners 9. I didn't care for the movie (see my review), but I seemed to be in the minority.

Arlena Acree shared an intriguing bit of gossip fodder before the screening started. (She's the film industry liaison for the City of Shreveport.) A producer apparently told her that if the movie does well, there could be a prequel or sequel. The Robinson Film Center's Clare France quickly added that such a project "would be filmed here."

So will there be another "Mr. Brooks?" That's for audiences to decide.

It's an odd film. It's very moody -- reminiscent of 80s neo-noir flicks like "Manhunter," "To Live in Die in L.A.," "Angel Heart" and almost anything from the glory days of Mickey Rourke -- but its stabs at emotional complexity look a bit desperate to me.

One minute, Costner's killer revels in the immediate thrill of committing murder (which we should hate him for, but we don't).

The next, he prays to himself, laughs malevolently with his alter ego (Hurt) or cringes at the discovery of his daughter's dark secret. We're supposed to accept "Mr. Brooks" as a portrait of a killer with a deeply troubled conscience, but drastic shifts in mood and the star's insistence on psychological realism left me in disbelief.

Given Costner's career of playing likable heroes, I'd rather see him act completely dispicably for a change. There would be more news in "Mr. Brooks" if we came away hating the star's character rather than (yet again) sympathizing with him.

Anyway, the movie will find an audience, and I suspect it's going to find a home down the road on cable TV. What will be interesting right now is whether or not the project's stars -- Kevin Costner, William Hurt and Demi Moore -- inspire a ripple or a wave at the weekend box office. I'm not in the business of predicting numbers, though.

So what do you think? Is another "Mr. Brooks" a good idea? Are you interested in more? Let me know your thoughts after you see the movie.


Chris Lyon said...

I think this movie has the kind of buzz that will warrant a return and the creation of a small franchise. If there is a return, I think it should be a prequel in the not too distant past. I'd like to see the developments that brought the current story to life more than seeing a continued chase of a killer by a begrudged wanton cop.

I, personally, liked the movie with the exception of a few technical flaws. I was there. I laughed when Brooks and Marshall laughed and I about fell out of my chair when Smith (Dane Cook) made his comment about always wanting to kill someone who cut him off in traffic. It was (even if unintentionally) an homage to one of his on-stage comedy gags.

I enjoyed this movie how I enjoy most every non sci-fi flick I like nowadays- in context. It's so hard to get into a movie that will take you out of this world and into the world of imagination and creativity (save The Lives of Others and Pan's Labyrinth)- so I try to enjoy movies in the context of how they were made, where they were made and what's going on in the lives of the people involved. I suppose that's why I don't enjoy most chick flicks- because many times the chicks in the movie are doing the same thing the actor portraying them is doing in real life- or at least I could see them doing those things. For me, the less likely something that happens on screen is to happen in real life- the more prone I am to enjoy it. Strange? Maybe so.

But this way, to me anyway, jokes are funnier and shocking elements get their vibe back. I tell you what- I jumped about 6 feet in the air twice during "Brooks."

Maybe it's not the best made film ever in the world, but it was extremely entertaining- which is all I want from a psycho-thriller like "Brooks." I just can't bring myself to walk into it expecting some spiritual revelation or change the way I see the world.

My rating? It gets a high five. I would see it again.

Alexandyr Kent said...

I jumped a bit after the first killings. The quick flashbacks provided quite a jolt.