Its easy to understand why Oscar-winning actor/producer/director Kevin Costner decided to change his image by playing a schizophrenic serial killer who dutifully attends AA meetings as an addict and engages in imaginary conversations with his creepy, caustic alter ego (William Hurt) as he struggles to control his impulses.
While hes a successful businessman/philanthropist – Portland, Oregons Man of the Year – Earl Brooks has a secret. Hes dutiful to his wife (Marg Helenberger) and a doting father to his rebellious daughter (Danielle Penabaker) but late at night he sneaks out to feed his lurid fantasies.
While Costner once ruled the summer with Field of Dreams and Bull Durham and won Oscars for Dances With Wolves, hes also suffered setbacks with Waterworld and The Postman. But hes always been a risk-taker and Mr. Brooks is a blood-thirsty psycho, no doubt about it.
The story begins with great promise, delineating his character and introducing a disturbed peeping-Tom (Dane Cook) who photographs Mr. Brooks as he slaughters a young couple in their bed. The twist is that he wont go to the police with his incriminating evidence if Mr. Brooks will take him along on his next outing.
Hot on their trail is a tough detective (Demi Moore) whos in the midst of a nasty divorce and being pursued by a vengeful escaped convict (Matt Schulze) determined to kill her. Too bad he doesnt because Moore is so plasticized that shes almost as detestable as her prey.
Writer/director Bruce A. Evans and co-writer Raymond Gideon suffer from a plethora of coincidences and contrivances, including making Moore a multimillionaire and introducing a startling genetic concept. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Mr. Brooks is a violent, implausible 6. Its Costners dark field of screams