Wednesday Movie Night: Mr. Brooks (2007)

Mr. Brooks is probably one of the darkest movies you will watch. It’s also a movie that show cases a lot of talent better than it has been in a while or ever been. The actors just shine in their roles, even Dane Cook, and usually that is something you can’t say. I would say the movie is pretty impressive considering the director, Bruce A. Evans only directed one other title, and I can tell that is one you would rather forget and leave behind. Kevin Costner though really shows his better acting in years in this, and has a great actor by his side in William Hurt.

Summary: Earl Brooks has a really bad addiction, and he continues to try to break it, but he can’t stop murdering people. One night though he makes a mistake, and a man takes photos of him murdering a man and woman in their bedroom. Marshall is Earl’s voice inside his head, and he seems to be the encouragement of his crimes, and the one who is worried that Earl is trying to get them caught. Earl is blackmailed by Mr. Smith who has the photos, but he tells him he won’t share the photos as long as he takes him out to murder with him. Mr. Brooks has many other things to worry about though including his pregnant daughter, and the stress of an investigator on his tail regarding the murders.

Acting: The movie is well acted all the way around. Kevin Costner is very well suited as Earl Brooks. Without many words he captures the dilemma of wanting to stop his murdering, but also not having much remorse when he does it as well. William Hurt makes a perfect balance as his inner voice, and I think he adds a nice comedic tone to a movie that is already very dark. In a way the vibe of the movie reminds me a lot of Primal Fear. Demi Moore is the investigator on the crime, Tracey Atwood. I haven’t seen Moore in much, but I thought she played one of the few women in this type of role who is likable. She isn’t too over the top though in being tough, but also isn’t weak. There is also Dane Cook, and I think this is the role he was meant for. I don’t know him for ever being popular in any role he has done, and in this one he is quite over the top annoying. He makes Mr. Smith very unlikable as intended.

Cinematography: There was nothing particularly memorable about the shots themselves. I think the director did a great job of building the suspense with the atmosphere of the movie though. There are lots of shots in dark rooms, and it creates this eeriness around Mr. Brooks despite him being the main character. The movie throws in a few twist that work as well. Mainly though the scenes are just dark, and that drives the vibe of the movie.

Plot: I think the story is unique in the fact that the lead character is also the murderer. He also doesn’t necessarily seek out people who are other killers, or bad people, to react on his addiction either, so you feel very conflicted about to respond to his character, but the addition of Mr. Smith gives everyone stronger to dislike, and I think that is how the movie works. You get a much more unlikable character to distract us from the fact the lead guy is killing people. The main part of the movie also focuses on him following a pair of killers to take our minds off the fact he killed innocent people before.

Mr. Brooks is one that really works because of the unique plot, and the cast that commits to their acting in the roles. Kevin Costner makes a good comeback in this role that has to be one of his more memorable ones, and for a director who doesn’t have any good movies to put on his belt before this one, this a good one to be known for.

Rating 8 of 10.

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