Analysis from an overdue videotape, from a closed Blockbuster:
I may have watched this film initially before knowing who Bret Easton Ellis was. It holds up pretty well to time, now almost being twenty years old. This is by far the most successful of the films made from his work, and I feel like it’s the furthest from the source material of the bunch.
This may simply be because the source material is so fucking dark. Large swaths of the novel are so graphic that the smallest of pieces were adapted and rightfully so. If not, this would be a porno-snuff film, bouncing from murder to murder to sex scene to murder. Instead, this film got the biggest actors of the time (I forgot Willem Dafoe and Reese Witherspoon were in this) to make somewhat of a big-budget thriller and smooth out some of the rougher, uglier parts of the book.
That is where I think this film fails in the broader sense, there isn’t much of a plot to hold onto. The gore just gets ramped up and up and onward in the book, to the point where you question if any of this is real, with no answer being provided. The movie stands to the side of this being all imaginary, Mr. Bateman simply has an overactive imagination, and that’s all we are seeing.
One of the best adaptations of a murder scene has to be when a chainsaw is introduced and used as a projectile weapon down several flights of stairs. Christian Bale is the perfect Patrick Batman, and this movie still has its over-the-top moments that remind you of the source material, just toned down a few decibels.
Analysis from the hidden bedpost just waiting for your big toe:
In the immortal words of Paul Scheer, “How did this get made?”
This movie was one of the bigger cinematic disappointments I’ve come across, and I have seen all of the recent Star Wars films. With a cast as dynamic, talented, and appealing as this movie had, it should have been a no brainer success story. However, it flopped. It wasn’t the acting that was to blame, but the script entirely. There was no plot to be found and no character development to speak of. Had I not read the book, I would have turned off the movie after the first mind-numbing ten minutes.
Who is Bateman? Why do we care? Who are the key players in his life? What is he motivated by? Again, someone not attached to the book would finish the movie, still having no idea. The porn and murder scenes were the only exciting part of the film, and even they felt out of touch and unexplainable. You have to be invested in something about a movie to care about where it takes you. Here there was not one thing worth attaching to.
Truly one of the worst films I’ve seen. The only thing saving it is the cast, and honestly, I would watch Christian Bale take a shit and give it a five-star review. This movie was worse than shit. They did Ellis wrong here.