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American Psycho (2000)

Cast: Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Reese Witherspoon, Samantha Mathis, ChloŽ Sevigny, Joshua Lucas, Guinevere Turner, Matt Ross, William Sage

Director(s): Mary Harron

Language: English

Genre: Thriller

Synopsis

Mary Harron (I Shot Andy Warhol) and Guinevere Turner's (Go Fish) adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis's controversial novel distills the critically maligned book down to its ironic, satirical core. Wisely situating most of the novel's grisly action off-screen, Harron employs violence as a metaphor for the spiritually vacant materialism and corporate machismo of the Reagan '80s. Christian Bale (Velvet Goldmine) delivers a shining performance as the status-obsessed, psychotic broker Patrick Bateman--s... [Get complete synopsis]

 

motleymitch wrote on January 12, 2008, 2:15 am
Rated
This film had me going until the last 20 minutes or so, and then it turned into a big mess.
Bale does an excellent job of satirizing the 80's plastic, cold yuppie persona, and he does give off a good psychotic vibe throughout, but too many plot points were left up in the air by film's end, and I was ultimately disappointed with this film that had so much promise.

*minor spoilers*

Although the film purposefully takes its plot with a grain of salt and a big smirk, Bale's killing spree is handled very spur-of-the-moment and carelessly, and we assume it's a matter of time before he is found out due to his sloppiness and seeming desire to get caught. There is a cop (Dafoe, who gets second billing) assigned to one of the murders who keeps meeting with Bale to question him, and then is forgotten about and left out of the film. The last 20 minutes raises so many questions about false identities and possible dream/hallucination scenarios and 'Did that really happen?' theories and then does nothing to quench the confusion. It feels like a cop-out.
It should be fairly obvious to anyone in Bale's company for more than a few minutes that he exhibits serious anti-social mannerisms and is not to be trusted. Seeing as how the story takes place in a self-obsessed 80's Wall Street setting where everyone is more concerned with their business cards and hair gel than what the psycho next to them is saying, I can let it slide. Bale and the rest of the cast are quite good - the fault lies with the filmmakers and screenwriters. The viewer should only be yanked around for so long if there's no pay-off.
A nice touch though was the blatant sarcastic monologues Bale has about certain 80's musicians before he commits murder. He lectures about how Huey Lewis really came into his own with 'Hip To Be Square', the awesomeness of Phil Collins guiding Genesis to their creative apex with 'Duke' and 'Invisible Touch' (before Collins, they were too 'arty'), and the genius of the lyrics in Whitney Houston's first album.
Anyways, the film looks sleek, but really just gives a big middle finger to the viewers at the end.
Deril wrote on January 14, 2008, 2:23 pm
Rated
I'll try and sum some of that up. I was REALLY into this movie from minute 1 until the last 20 minutes as well.
At this point I was thinking 4 or 3.5 stars. As Mitch said above, the end really sucked and leaves you unsatisfied. For this (and this alone) my rating goes down like a 10 dollar whore.

I thought Bale was exceptional and his role was perfectly cast.

Mitch as for Dafoe, he wasn't actually a cop. He was a Private eye who was hired by the family of one of the "missing people" in order to keep the whole thing out of the media. But you are right. By the end of the movie, his character (like most others) were just not needed, and didn't factor into the end result.

What should have been a great movie, drops down to a meh for me.

Ps. there is NO re-watch value here either

Deril wrote on January 3, 2010, 12:17 am
Comment
Just did a re-watch, and I couldn't agree more with what both Mitch & I wrote....except for the re-watch thing (which I obviously did).

What's your rating of this movie?

 

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