There's something about
Kevin Costner as a warped serial killer, a pillar of the community whose dark side is embodied by an on-screen William Hurt? You have to admit, it sounds intriguing, right? Mr. Brooks is the vehicle for this unsavory story, and it turns out to be a lot less kicky than it sounds. Mr. Brooks is a Portland, Oregon tycoon and philanthropist whose "addiction" to murder is suddenly re-surfacing--with plenty of help from his sneering alter ego, who generally sits in the back of the car, goading Mr. Brooks on. (The other characters can't see William Hurt in all this, of course.) The unbelievably convoluted plot has Mr. Brooks confronted by a blackmailer (comedian Dane Cook) who has a surprising twist on things, and trailed by a cop (Demi Moore) who comes equipped with her own set of professional and marital woes. As if that weren't enough, when Brooks's daughter (Danielle Panabaker) comes home, it becomes clear that some traits run in the family.
The scenes with Costner and Hurt are the best stuff in the film, even if director Bruce Evans can't figure out how to play fair visualizing their presence to others. But the script, which among other whoppers make Demi Moore's character a millionaire, is just too unbelievable to stomach. If William Hurt's character provided a running commentary for this movie, there wouldn't be anything left after he got through mocking it. --Robert Horton