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American Psycho

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: American Psycho

Starring: Christian Bale, Chloe Sevigny
Director: Mary Harron
Rated: R
RunTime: 97 Minutes
Release Date: April 2000
Genres: Comedy, Horror


*Also starring: Justin Theroux, Jared Leto, Samantha Mathis, Joshua Lucas, Guinevere Turner, Matt Ross, Reese Witherspoon, Willem Dafoe



Review by Susan Granger
½ star out of 4

It's really hard to be objective about this picture. I loathed it. But why? Based on Bret Easton Ellis's controversial 1991 novel, it revolves around Patrick Bateman, a vain, rich, vacuous Wall Street stockbroker who becomes a serial killer. The profanity-laden screenplay leaves much of the gruesome gore of the grisly dismemberment and grotesque disembowelment of his victims to the imagination and attempts, instead, to be a black comedy. For example, the stylized opening sequence depicts crimson drops of what one might assume is blood - but, in truth, they're drippings from a thick raspberry sauce being poured over an exorbitantly over-priced poultry entree served at a trendy Manhattan restaurant. Yes, Patrick Bateman is a phony, obsessed with designer clothing, exercise, and pop music. Writer/director Mary Harron and co-writer Guinevere Turner have fashioned a sanctimonious social satire on the greedy excesses of the '80s, and Christian Bale plays the psychopath with exuberant relish as Reese Witherspoon, Chloe Sevigny, Willem Dafoe, and Jared Leto lend support. Plus there's an abundance of male and female nudity with the warm skin tones photographed in exquisite settings. But what made me flinch was the cold, explicit glorification, the utter delight the movie-makers took in the sleek horror of murder. To me, serial killers simply aren't funny - no way, even if - as it's suggested inconclusively - it's all in Bateman's warped mind. (Leonardo DiCaprio was wise to have bailed out of this project.) On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "American Psycho" is a reprehensible 2 - and it should have been NC-17, not R. Trimming a sex scene involving a threesome orgy does not make this film acceptable for a multiplex, where young people can and do sneak in. I wish I hadn't seen it.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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