Since I don't suck on Hollywood hambone too often, I looked forward to watching Mr. Brooks. Not a good idea when the writer/directors wrote Stand By Me and Kevin Costner plays a mild-mannered serial killer, but whatever. William Hurt! Kevin Costner playing a mild-mannered serial killer! Did I say William Hurt?
Alas, Mr. Brooks is about 80 minutes too long. It equates funereal pacing with Serious Drama. It's got Costner discussing abortion with a teenage daughter who's probably his girlfriend. Faithfully adhering to Hollywood serial killer movie rules, there's a scene in which Costner burns his clothes and a few incriminating possessions of his victim's while crouching in the nude (we get no scenes, alas, of Costner sticking his dick between his thighs and penciling eyeliner to the accompaniment of Colin Newman). Demi Moore's in here too, playing, you guessed it, the determined cop out to get Mr. Brooks, grinding her teeth so fiercely that bicuspid ash oozed from her jaws. Fortunately Lindsay Crouse is on hand, as a crypto-dike police captain who's minutes from turning into Laurie Metcalf-playing-Joan Crawford. The biggest disappointment is Hurt, relegated to glowering in the shadows and committed to playing this shit role like it's Iago; he does experiment with an cackle he stole from Dr. Evil, though. Once again the filmmakers missed an opportunity in not switching the roles: how much more delicious would this film be if William Hurt, as the serial killer, took advice from alter ego Kevin Costner, especially if Costner is still allowed to act this milquetoasty?
If you happen to catch Mr. Brooks on cable, make sure you make it through the first thirty minutes. Costner utters a line of dialogue destined for the annals of camp. To serial killer apprentice (don't ask) Dane Cook: "I feel I must warn you -- if it turns out you enjoy killing, it can be very addictive. It can ruin your life."