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Mr. Brooks: Good Penny-Bad Penny

While Chrissie is away on pilgrimage in Germany, I have carte blanche to go to the movies.  Last night I hemmed and hahhed so long over my  choices (Away From Her, 1408, and Mr. Brooks) that I was finally left with either go see Mr. Brooks or don't see a movie today.  I am glad I went. What an interesting movie it was.

Kevin Costner as the good guy - Mr. Earl Brooks:  a husband, handsome and charming, a successful businessman, philanthropist, and new Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year who has a lovely bride (sorry, not enough Marg Helgenberger in this movie for me) and a beautiful daughter who could be trouble.  And that's not all.  Kevin Costner is also the bad guy - The Thumbprint Killer:  a serial assassin who is cold, calculating, and meticulous.  But wait, there's more!  William Hurt plays his imaginary devilish alter ego, Marshall, who spurs him on to kill and to find the thrill in it.  These are two actors I have always enjoyed watching, and they did not disappoint.

Brooks is a conflicted man torn between the public life he treasures and the secret bloodlust he hides.  His dark side went so far as to conjure up this Marshall that no one sees or hears but him, that is so real to him, complete with engaging conversations and even laughter.  I am glad he's not the little devil on the shoulder whispering in his ear, or even a disembodied voice in his head, but I guess he really is.  Anyway, I found this compelling and believable.  What lengths the human psyche won't go to rationalize and justify anything we think we need or want.  Brooks believes he needs to kill.  He cannot help himself.  He acknowledges he is addicted to his 'hobby'.  Brooks even attends AA meetings and often recites the Serenity Prayer, trying to dredge up some form of redemption from himself.  But Marshall wants him to kill.  He makes it all okay.  He gives Brooks the permission he needs.  That, therein, is the scary part in all of this.  How many Mr. Brooks' are really out there in the world?

There's a lot to this movie.  It has other interesting players and carries some intriguing twists and turns.  I admit I found it a guilty pleasure.  I'm giving it the ole' Double Thumbs Up!!