Sunday, August 4, 2013

Ten Statements About....AMERICAN PSYCHO 2: ALL-AMERICAN GIRL (2002)

Oh, Mila, Mila...couldn't you have found another DTV
sequel to star in?
“Okay, think about it.  I’m killing the few to save the many, sort of like Robin Hood."

1) One of the biggest problems with this movie that has many problems is how it simply cannot decide what it wants to be.  It seems like it wants to be as satirical and darkly humorous as the original, but it doesn’t have, nor want, the level of subtlety Mary Harron’s original possesses...and yet there are moments where you think director Morgan J. Freeman, or the script by Alex Sanger and Karen Craig (which totally missed the point of the original), believe they’re filming a genuine horror film.  It’s simply a mess....

2) ...and while we’re on the subject of Sanger and Craig’s script, the damn thing can’t even be consistent.  It goes through pains in the first act and change of the story to establish that this is all Mila Kunis’ Rachel’s point of view (even the scene that looks like it couldn’t be is later established as being seen through her eyes)...and yet they gleefully abandon this the moment they realize they have to firmly establish Geraint Wynn Davies’ ineffectual Dr. Daniels as a credible adversary as opposed to William Shatner’s Professor Starkman.  This is a script that doesn’t have the respect for its own world that it needs to have.

3) And speaking of William Shatner--my God, is he good as Starkman!  Shatner is the one actor who seems to be taking this mess seriously, and his performance is the most subtle I’ve seen him in years.  He’s definitely a high point in this film.

4) I really wish I could say the same for Mila Kunis, who is admittedly super-cute...but I think she takes the opposite tack of Shatner, overplaying it to the extreme.  There are a large number of moment when I swore Kunis was imitating Sarah Michelle Gellar at her Buffy-est worst, although I admit I could not tell if she was doing this for some sort of metatextual comic effect. And her monologues have none of the nuance and chill of Bale’s in the original, and are so broad they can’t even be interpreted as parody.
It's Mila Kunis driving a car containing a dead William
Shatner.  Your argument is no longer valid.  I guess.

5) There are two ‘twists’ in this braindead little film that are simply not set up in the least, one involving Starkman and one involving Rachel.  These things seem to show up solely because the writers need a little extra stuff to stretch out the running time.  It creates a definite sense of ‘making it up as you go along’ to the film.

6) ....but then, this is a film that’s so sloppy in its execution that it has Rachel murder people in broad daylight and in public places and nothing is made of it until the very end.  And I mean nothing.  It’s not until Dr. Daniels goes to the world’s most ineffectual sherif’s department that anyone thinks anything is wrong.

7) Oh, that fucking soundtrack.  Yes, the original featured a soundtrack that could be obtrusive at time, but that was primarily to reinforce the film’s sense of place and time.  This soundtrack of alt-rock songs keeps intruding on us, as if it’s afraid that we can’t figure out the nuances of the movie without it.  Hell, I like some of the bands on it, but not when they suddenly intrude on every single scene in every single moment.

8) You know how this film annoys me right from the start?  It shows that the writers had no understanding of what the original film was about by ignoring the revelation of the ending and reducing Patrick Bateman to just a normal serial killer.  By hinging the premise of the film on that assumption, it makes the whole film spurious.  Now there is a (very) brief moment where it looks like the writers are going to play on the original film’s conceit, but that moment is discarded immediately so we can return to the too obvious plot.
Look, you know this is the only reason you're considering
watching this movie, so here's another photo of her looking

9) You know, the biggest problem with Wynn Davies’ Dr. Daniels as the film’s hero--besides the fact that he’s totally ineffectual (and morally wreckless) as a psychiatrist?  He seems to be an after thought.  There’s a strong sense that Starkman should have been the hero of the film, a sense that’s bolstered by Shatner’s performance...but after he’s given his pass out of the movie in an actually pretty good scene, Daniels is shoved into the hero role by default.  And considering the character has not displayed anything to feel positive about, what we can laughingly refer to as the film’s momentum is stopped cold.

10) Okay, this is an unrated direct-to-video sequel, right?  Then why is it so bloodless.  Not that I’m saying gore would have saved this movie, but it seems weird that we don’t get blood and ick in a film as aggressive about its mayhem as it should be.

Overall...a worthless, annoying film that seems to scream and run about like a toddler on a sugar high.  Supposedly, Mila Kunis is embarrassed by this film, which only proves to me that she has a good head on her shoulder.  Avoid.  Avoid a lot.


  1. Replies
    1. The otherwise rather good performance here besides the point, the presence of Shatner may actually serve to takes points off rather than add them on. And while this particular performance is amazing, everything else around it is crap....