American Psycho (2000) Reviewed

I liked this adaptation far more than the book it’s based on. Christian Bale impresses as the sick fuck upwardly mobile Wall Street yuppie living a double life as sex-crazed serial killer. Mary Harron directed the film and adapted the novel as a screenplay thereby developing a tighter more affective story. The movie improves on Brett Ellison’s novel by restructuring the message to comment on the 80’s with retrospection. The novel, published during that decade, had less to say and was far less articulate. Chloe Sevigny is Bale’s sweet but naïve secretary. Willem Defoe is the detective sniffing Bateman out. Samantha Mathis and Reese Witherspoon have small roles as Bateman’s society friends. Among the film’s delights: Bateman admires himself in the mirror while screwing the hooker he’ll eventually kill to music by Huey Lewis and the News! AP captures the decade, its ridiculous slang (“Well, isn’t that special?”) and the overly coifed mentality of a true narcissist with admirable accuracy. There’s plenty of suspense and sheer nastiness to shock and appall. AP is a favorite but subtract a star for the unsatisfying half-baked conclusion. ***

~ by Number5ive on November 25, 2008.

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