Friday, June 1, 2007

The Beast Within

Earl Brooks (Kevin Costner) is quite the man: A devoted husband and a loving father, a successful businessman and a philanthropist, he has been named Portland’s Man of the Year at the beginning of the very “
neat” – LOL; I couldn’t resist – psychological thriller Mr. Brooks.

But – what do you know – Earl Brooks has a secret.

Earl Brooks is a serial killer, and a good one at that. He has eluded justice for many years thanks to his methodical style, cleverly informed by alter ego Marshall (William Hurt), and a peculiar signature that has earned him the nickname the Thumbprint Killer.

When Mr. Brooks gives in to one last murderous urge, and an amateur photographer we come to know as Mr. Smith (Dane Cook) witnesses the crime, his two incompatible worlds collide. It is more than neat to watch Costner play against type, keeping his cool between a rock and a hard place – it is gripping.

Mr. Brooks works because the actor makes us root for this fascinating anti-hero.

You will want him to find a way to unravel Mr. Smith’s unexpected plans, and you will want him to foil Detective Atwood’s (Demi Moore) efforts to capture the Thumbprint Killer – his hands up, his hands up, she wants him with his hands up. But more than anything, you will want to see more of him, and
you might.

I just think it’s, well…neat to see two Super Stars of the 1990s sort of together on screen. Mr. Brooks may not be the most obvious summer blockbuster, but it is an attention-grabber. Some of its twists and turns can be seen from a mile away, but the ones that don’t will be the ones that will get you.

My Rating ***

Photo: MGM.

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