102 min., 2000
Written by Mary Harron/Guinevere Turner
Directed by Mary Harron
My rating: ★★★★★
Is that a great movie you’re watching? Yes it is!
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Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) is the picture perfect man. Great body, wealthy beyond belief, can get any woman he wants and has no trouble getting what he needs. His soon-to-be-wife Evelyn (Reese Witherspoon) never really seems to know what’s going on, including the fact that he is cheating on her with one of their friends Courtney Rawlinson (Samantha Mathis), while at the same time picking up hookers. His secretary Jean (Chloe Sevigny) really wants to be accepted by him but he never really seems to notice her. While with a “friend,” Paul Allen (Jared Leto), he gives a very heartfelt speech about Huey Lewis and the News and the song “Hip To Be Square,” and then out comes the axe. A little later Detective Donald Kimball (Willem Dafoe) comes calling to ask some questions about Paul Allen’s disappearance. That’s when the killings start to escalate.
There is no other actor that could have played a character like Patrick Bateman the way that Christian Bale could. There is no doubt in my mind that he is probably that fucked up in real life and that’s why he played the part so well. Okay, he probably isn’t really messed up in real life, but man can he act. He plays the part so well that you sometimes forget that he is acting and that he might actually be out there doing exactly what you are watching. It’s kinda creepy. Then, sometimes mid-sentence, he switches from downright creepy to completely funny. There are few actors that can pull that off as well as him. Everyone else does a great job and every character is completely believable. My only problem is with Willem Dafoe. He is so underused in the movie and that just sucks. He is on the same level as Bale (sometimes even better), but he just doesn’t have enough screen time.
The effects of the movie are actually pretty limited. Most of the time everything is actually off screen. Very little is actually shown and most is left to the imagination. But the stuff that they do show or the aftermath of the killing is extremely well done. Realistic looking and never over done, they are some great scenes and sights to behold. The only kill that really doesn’t work well, is the chainsaw scene. It’s fun as hell to watch but if you take a few seconds to think about it, it just wouldn’t work.
The storyline is another great thing about the movie. The end still has me scratching my head to this day. Did he do it? Did he kill all of them? Is it all in his head? I still don’t really know the full reality of the ending, but that is okay. Sometimes it’s better to question what you’ve seen instead of having all of the answers handed to you on a plate.
This movie is one that everyone should see. It’s great on so many levels, being funny one minute and then terrifying the next. It’s keeps you wondering about how far is Bateman really going to go down the crazy hole. Every true horror fan should see this and have it in their collection.Have You Read...?