Based on the 1991 novel by Bret Easton Ellis, Mary Harron directs American Psycho, a psychological satirical thriller that premiered at Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2000, and it soon developed a cult following.
Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) is a wealthy investment banker living in 1988 New York City. He has a nice apartment, has an interesting music taste, and is engaged to wealthy socialite Evelyn Williams (Reese Witherspoon) He has a peculiar secret in that he is a narcissistic psychopath who murders people. Normally, he gets away with it. However, after killing business rival Paul Allen (Jared Leto), he begins to unwind, killing more randomly than before while also staving off the probing questions of Detective Donald Kimball (Willem Dafoe). As his life unravels, Bateman’s friends and eager secretary Jean (Chloë Sevigny) are starting to notice his odd behaviors.
I have always wanted to see American Psycho, but just never made the time. When I saw for free on a streaming service, I just could not resist the opportunity to watch the film that put Christian Bale on the map.
As much as I wanted to like this film, I did not find it that entertaining. While I like a good psycho movie as much as the next audience member and all of their twists and turns, this one had one too many twists, but not enough turns. I get that the film was supposed to be confusing, but it was not confusing in that “whoa, did that just happen” way. It was confusing in a, “wait, what,” way. While the plot is interesting and the soundtrack was spot on, I just found there was too many mystery boxes to keep my attention. Not even the constant eyeball exposure to blood and gore keep me interested in what was going on.
I will say this, Christian Bale is an incredible actor. He gets a lot of nonsense thrown his way over one leaked audio clip, but his skills are unmatched. It is incredibly apparent in American Psycho. His portrayal of Bateman is enthralling and he nails the narcissistic, psychotic New Yorker.
Bottom line, while the movie’s star is engaging and the soundtrack interesting, the film falls short in trying to confuse the audience and leaves you scratching your head instead of leaving you lost in the mystery.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong Foul language, Sexual content/Nudity, Bloody violence
FAVORITE QUOTE: There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable… I simply am not there.
Check out the trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my documentary review of Untouchable and my movie review of Godzilla: King Of The Monsters. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.
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