Monday, January 6, 2014

Review: American Psycho 2

If you have been a reader of this blog for more than a year you’ll know that when I start off the New Year my first review is always something starring Mila Kunis. Is this because I’m a particularly big fan of her work? Not really but my first review ever featured her (The Book of Eli) and then the following year I just happened to review another movie she was featured in (Black Swan). Now its tradition and I do so love tradition. This year was a little tricky as I didn’t have any convenient films of hers to watch but then it hit me.

So at some point during my early college years I was at a video store and stumbled across I was confused by: a DVD titled “American Psycho 2”. The original American Psycho is a very entertaining, if a little trippy, flick starring pre-Dark Knight Trilogy Christian Bale based on a novel by the same name by Bret Easton Ellis. It was critical success and for what it was it did pretty decently in theaters. So the studio, Lions Gate Films, decided thet would attempt to turn the film into a brand. It took a script completely unrelated to the movie, “The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die”, and edited enough to make it seem like a sequel/spin-off. The writer of the novel completely denounced it and Kunis expressed a great deal of regret about doing the film, claiming she didn’t even know she was filming American Psycho 2 at first. For an added bonus this movie was directed by Morgan J. Freeman who has directed a couple of flicks but also apparently produced the hit MTV reality shows 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom. And you know when I think quality, oh yeah, I think MTV reality television.

So what we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is a potential car wreck of a film. But it’s never a good idea to judge something before you watch it so let’s check it out.

Full review after the jump.

[WARNING: The following review contains spoilers from a nearly twelve year old movie that you probably weren't going to watch anyway.]


On the bright side that's a pretty crazy look she's giving
As a twelve-year girl Rachael Newman (Kunis) was brought along with her babysitter on her date with the infamous serial killer Patrick Bateman. Bateman murders the babysitter for her trouble but is killed by Rachel in return, who escapes the scene with no one ever knowing she was there. As she grows up she develops a fascination with serial killers and, by the time she enters college, she is hell bent on joining the FBI so she can track and take them down for a living. The only problem: she’s batshit insane.

You know I seriously wonder what the original screenwriter had in mind when they wrote this script. Being called “The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die” I kind hope it was supposed to be a slasher flick featuring a teen girl with Jason Voorhees-level of durability who turns out to be the killer. We’re nowhere near that.

Anyway let’s talk about what did work in this movie: Mila Kunis is a pretty woman. Although now that I think about it might be underage in this movie. Now I’ve creeped myself out.

That's it. In a surprise to absolutely no one this movie is f**king terrible.

Where to begin? Well the tone of this film is hard to judge, but then again so was the original film. But here rather than feeling bad for laughing at something terrible Patrick Bateman did or said I was confused by whether or not this film was supposed to be a comedy or a serious thriller. Because if it’s a serious thriller it undercuts itself with a goofy score of almost cartoonish music and crappy tracks that sound like someone really liked late-90s pop rock (i.e. the soundtrack of pretty much all teen films and TV shows during that era). And if it’s supposed to be a comedy it fails big time by being insanely unfunny. Also this movie co-stars William Shatner just in case you had any lingering concern that this is a movie you should take at all seriously. He plays a former FBI agent turned college professor who was apparently the guy who was hot on Bateman’s trail just prior to his death. Because that makes sense, right?


"Denny Crane."
Shatner is okay here, which is a shame because I’d love to tell you that his overacting/scenery chewing saved the film but alas he’s just sort of there, likely for the paycheck. Most of the cast have all of the emotional range that one would expect from a terrible straight to DVD movie but Mila Kunis is another story. If I recall (too lazy to check) I tend to say that Kunis is a decent actor and seems to get a little better every year but in this case we’re talking about Kunis circa 2002 (i.e. That 70s Show Mila Kunis) and she was just dreadful back then. Emotional depth? The f**k’s that? To be fair she has nothing to work with her AT ALL but even so most of time it felt like she was just reading lines. It may not have been all that bad if she wasn’t also the narrator. The whole time is sounded like she had cotton in her mouth. It was so grating it made me want to be a serial killer, though I would limit my victims to the people who thought making this movie was a good idea.

The script? I’m assuming it was made out of toilet paper because someone clearly wiped their ass with it. The plot? Completely ludicrous and heavily depends on EVERYONE IN THE MOVIE BEING A F**KING MORON! That Racheal gets away with half the shit she does is so unbelievable that I had to frequently take breaks when watching it. Kills a girl and steals her identity? No one notices, not even the girl’s friends who reported her missing. The string of students and staff she brutally murders and just leaves the bodies around campus? I guess everyone missed it! Hell, even the dude she kills in the middle of the library goes unnoticed until the very end of the movie. But then again he was black so that one might have been racially motivated. No excuse with the ending though as Rachel ends up faking her death and dental record prove it was her…except just ten minutes before this the police and the therapist that was suspicious of her had strong reason to believe that “Rachel” wasn’t actually Rachel and may have replaced and possibly killed the real one. Nope, they all conveniently forgot that fact. Plus it’s not very subtle. Example: Racheal sure likes wearing shirts based on the American flag (Get it? BECAUSE SHE’S AN AMERICAN PSYCHO!!!!!!!!)

The most bizarre thing about this movie the link to American Psycho. I’m not saying that Patrick Bateman is some great character that should be revered but am I to only one disappointed that he’s killed off in the first two minutes of the movie? And he’s brought up pretty frequently. I think I would be able to handle this film better if it had nothing to do with the original film but every terrible thing this movie does feels like it’s kicking the first one which in turns makes me even more angry than I was.

He's not dead, he just wanted to leave the movie early
That all said this movie would likely make a fantastic addition to a Bad Movie Night due to just how badly it fails. Literally everything in this movie is done either badly or stupidly and there is some comedy to be found in that. Perhaps if the movie took itself seriously, had a better script, and was a true slasher flick (“That girl! But…but we killed her? My God, that girl can’t be killed! SHE CAN’T BE KILLED!!!”) then maybe it could have been at least less insulting. As it is this if you want to watch this movie I suggest that you get drunk and/or high beforehand, invite your friends over and have a good laugh. This is a “So Bad It’s Good” movie if I’ve ever seen one.

I give American Psycho 2 2 Adorable Pandas out of 5


Pros 

-If you like looking at Mila Kunis this movie certainly has a lot of her 
  
Cons 

-Mediocre acting 

-Terrible script 

-Ludicrous plot 

-Extremely uneven tone

-A ton of superficial references to a much better film

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