American Psycho (2000)
My Rating: 4/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “The real taste of a dramatic psycho thriller!”
Mary Harron (I Shot Andy Warhol) and Guinevere Turner’s (Go Fish) adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s controversial novel distills the critically maligned book down to its ironic, satirical core. Wisely situating most of the novel’s grisly action off-screen, Harron employs violence as a metaphor for the spiritually vacant materialism and corporate machismo of the Reagan ’80s. Christian Bale (Velvet Goldmine) delivers a shining performance as the status-obsessed, psychotic broker Patrick Bateman–self-proclaimed expert in “murders and executions.”
Traveling amongst narcissistic, misogynistic, barely discernable corporate clones, Patrick spends his workdays obsessing over tasteful business cards, designer suits, and prime reservations at trendy restaurants. After hours, he dismembers prostitutes, models, transients, and literally gives a co-worker the axe in a series of increasingly surreal episodes, all prefaced by demented lectures on the virtues of Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, and Huey Lewis. Chloe Sevigny (Boys Don’t Cry) and Resse Witherspoon (Election), as Patrick’s secretary and fiancée, turn in strong performances, and Andrzej Sekula’s stylish cinematography lends the film a stark, über-modern aesthetic reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange. While American Psycho does not venture deeply into the mind of its sick protagonist, it offers a sharp satire of the dark side of yuppie culture.