Bloody disappointing, that's what Mr. Brooks is. Kevin Costner plays a respectable Seattle businessman who kills for thrills, thanks to the goading of an imaginary friend who looks a whole lot like William Hurt. Costner's Earl Brooks is such a square (appropriate, perhaps, for a man who made his fortune in box manufacturing) that he kills all of two people in the movie's first 90 minutes or so. If only Mr. Brooks weren't trying so hard to make some point about the hereditary nature of addiction, it might have been fun. Instead we get a morality tale in which a father (Costner) passes along to his daughter (Danielle Panabaker) his killer genes and then tries to reverse the cycle of addiction, lest his little girl wind up as tortured as he claims to be. Mr. Brooks mutters to himself the Serenity Prayer ("God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change . . . ") and goes to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings (where he admits only to being "an addict"), but the device is hollow and ham-fisteda slight gag meant to elicit an ironic chuckle, not illuminate a character so barely fleshed out he's little more than a bespectacled skeleton firing blanks at the audience's heads.
Get the Film & TV Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.
More Film News
- Scott Adkins Plays a Badass Actually Named ‘Colt McReady’ In the Effective ‘Close Range’
- Meet the Pole Who Tried to Warn the World About the Holocaust in ‘Karski & the Lords...
- Jane Fonda Faced Down the Seventies and a Killer in Pakula’s Masterful ‘Klute’
- He’ll Get Your Head Shaking: Surveying the Start of Chung Mong-hong’s (Likely) Great...