Serial killer movies are two-a-penny, but a film starring Kevin Costner, William Hurt and Demi Moore cannot easily be dismissed as run-of-the-mill, and I found Mr Brooks, a 2007 film, to be a cut above most movies featuring sociopaths, benefiting from a complex plot which is nevertheless not so convoluted as to be incomprehensible.
Costner plays the eponymous Mr Brooks. He is a rich, successful and popular businessman with a gorgeous blonde wife and lovely daughter at college, but he is also a recovering serial killer who (in a scene that I didn’t find wholly convincing) even turns up at an AA meeting and announces himself as suffering from an unspecified addiction.
It’s two years since Mr Brooks last killed, but he’s getting the urge again, prompted by his mysterious alter ego, played by William Hurt – whom nobody else can see or hear. Hurt is one of my favourite actors. He never seems to play a character who is wholly likeable, but even at his nastiest, he is very watchable, with a trademark sly wit. He encourages Mr Brooks to kill a pair of lovers – but the crime is spotted by a creepy voyeur, who decides that he wants Mr Brooks to induct him into the world of psychotic murder. To add to the complications, the cop who is pursuing Mr Brooks is herself being pursued by a killer bent on revenge, while her own divorce leads quite literally to murder. And if that’s not enough, it seems that Mr Brooks’ daughter wants to follow in Dad’s footsteps….
Blimey. There’s enough material in all that for three movies. Of course, Mr Brooks is preposterous. But it’s very well done, and the stars do a great job that enabled me to suspend my disbelief for the best part of two hours.