The Gripe

The Baltimore Sun

Maybe it's time for filmmakers to try telling one story at a time.

Already this spring, Spider-Man 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End have committed the sin of cinematic overkill by trying to cram too many stories into a single film. And now Mr. Brooks, with Kevin Costner as a model citizen by day, serial killer by night, joins the list of the jam-packed. In addition to the story line centering on Mr. Brooks, there's one involving Demi Moore as an heiress-turned-detective with some serious parental issues to work out and another with Dane Cook as a serial killer wannabe.

Any one of those story lines could have made an interesting film. Shoving them all into the same two-hour film only ensures that none will get the attention it deserves; in Mr. Brooks, Moore's character seems almost an afterthought, as though the filmmakers were trying to set up some sort of Hannibal Lecter/Clarice Starling dynamic.

They didn't. What's more, they shouldn't have bothered trying. In movies as in housing, overcrowding is rarely a good thing.

Chris Kaltenbach

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