This movie came out two days after my 14th birthday and I can recall wanting to go see it. I didn’t get the chance to and ended up ordering it on PPV months later. My first impression was about how much I loathed the flick and how slow it was. I like dark comedy, but this was devoid of humor. What was funny about it? The pacing was wrong, the acting atrocious and it was devoid of any story whatsoever. It was, in my mind, how not to do a slasher flick.
Well, having just re-watched it for the first time since the year 2000, the question of, does it hold up and is it ultimately better than I remember needs to be answered.
Same basic story as the novel. Young yuppie, wallstreet cunt, does too much cocaine, desires to fit in and does a bunch of boring, mundane things, like rent porn, exercise, have random outburst over shitty business cards that anyone but him would find virtually impossible to tell apart from one another, fuck prostitutes and oh yeah, he moonlights as a killer.
The acting is still fucking atrocious. I’ve seen better acting on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood than this snooze fest of a flick. It is one of the few movies where the leads are upstaged by minor characters, proving the age old adage of “there are no small roles, just small actors” correct. A lot of people praised Christian Bale as nailing the role of Patrick Bateman, but compared to his roles in other movies, he really seems to have no fucking clue what the hell he is doing in this flick. The only person worse, is Jared Leto. Thank fuckin’ God that both of them finally learned to act, but this isn’t the film that would showcase their talents.
The visuals suck and don’t hold up. The lighting is poor, the sound quality on the Amazon prime version was complete shit. Is that a fuckin 90’s Glock in his hand towards the end? What the fuck? Then again, how could you tell, almost all Glocks look alike, which I think is the overly subtle joke, that few people will understand, that just like all the people are alike, so too are the inanimate objects. Besides that, there was a few, seemingly, era inaccurate aspects, which I won’t waste my time point out them all, because there isn’t a point to it. Other than that, there isn’t much to say other than that there are 80’s B-movies on VHS that look better than this eyesore.
What is there to say about this movie, after nearly 20 years? It doesn’t hold up is what I have to say and it never did. The failure on the director’s part to seemingly make it like every other shallow, shitty, slasher flick, as if the movie itself was trying to fit in, is also lost on the audience, because of how Hollywood operates. Hollywood doesn’t like to mock itself often and few films, short of Scream, could has pulled off a feat so well. It fails overall and if you have to explain the joke, it isn’t funny. Oh sure, it has some very iconic scenes for any horror movie, from chasing the hooker down with a chain saw, to the ATM saying to “feed it a stray cat” and the Huey Lewis and the news ax scene, to name a few. Yet everything that was enjoyable about the book, is lost in translation in the film. Bateman is too one dimensional in the flick. I know that’s the point, superficial, charming, typical serial killer, yet so mundane and typical. How Bale played Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins is exactly how I expected Bateman to be played, which makes more sense, since Batemen was a metaphor for how Bret Easton Ellis felt during this time, the conformity and loathing within oneself lost here and would of added some depth. Another problem is that, they, the director, chose for us that Bateman is indeed, a serial killer and was supposed to have actually committed murder. In my mind, that was piss poorly done, since I left the movie, twice, thinking he was just making the shit up and still unreliable. The movie is way too long, with no clear intention of story and worst yet, it is unfunny as fuck. For a black comedy, I would have recommended adding some humor into it, besides “Feed me stray cat”.
The movie is, has and never will be for me, but perhaps I will watch it again in another 20 years and see what I think then, but my teenage self and thirty something self absolutely agree, that this shit sucks!
1 star out of 5