Mr. Brooks Bruce A. Evans

Mr. Brooks Bruce A. Evans
Mr. Brooks possesses an interesting concept: a wealthy professional and family man by day, cold blooded serial killer (nicknamed "the Thumbprint Killer”) by night. But the even more intriguing idea was its attempt at breathing new life into Kevin "Robin Hood” Costner’s dying career by giving him another shot at a possible sequel-bound role. Alas, what could have been Costner’s return to form (after what feels like eons since, what, Bull Durham?) instead turns out to be a bigger mistake than Wyatt Earp, Waterworld, The Postman, etc. Okay, maybe not The Postman.

Costner plays the titular Earl Brooks, a cool, calm and collected box manufacturer with a nasty taste for random blood. He wants rid of his addiction but his meddlesome conscience (played by William Hurt) just won’t let it go, bringing him out of retirement to off a pair of ballroom dancing strangers. Thought to be in the clear, Brooks is approached by the lowlife Mr. Smith (Dane Cook), who just so caught him in the act of murder and demands to be taken on the next murderous thrill ride. This not only puts Brooks on edge but Smith’s actions give hungry "millionaire” detective Tracy Atwood (Demi Moore) a much-needed distraction from her pesky divorce.

I wanted to enjoy this but Mr. Brooks is far too riddled with problems. The plot is congested, branching off into all sorts of unnecessary and distracting tangents — Brooks’s troubled daughter and Atwood’s sizeable divorce settlement. On top of this there is the laughably "intense” script and sadly, Costner’s inability to channel a real monster (largely due to some horrific attempts to go incognito), which was the key to making Mr. Brooks work.

Funny when it shouldn’t be and never really creepy at all, Mr. Brooks fails on all levels. Let’s hope he has Quentin Tarantino’s cell on speed dial. (Alliance Atlantis)