I watched a film a few months ago that I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t seen in it’s entirety until that night.
American Psycho (2000)
Some years ago I was watching TV late one night and I flicked over to this movie just in time to catch the scene where [SPOILER ALERT] Christian Bale’s character, Patrick Bateman hacks up Jared Leto’s character, Paul Allen with an Axe.
At the time I thought, “What the hell am I watching?!” but Bale’s performance was so good that I got drawn in. As I recall I had to turn it off to go to bed since I had work in the morning, but I’ve been wanting to watch it in full ever since.
If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s a crime/drama/horror based on the 1991 novel of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis. It stars Christian Bale (The Dark Knight trilogy), Reece Witherspoon (Legally Blonde), Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man: No Way Home), Samantha Mathis (Pump Up the Volume), Jared Leto (Blade Runner 2049) and Josh Lucas (Le Mans '66) among others.
This is what it’s about according to IMDb:
“A wealthy New York City investment banking executive, Patrick Bateman (Bale), hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he delves deeper into his violent, hedonistic fantasies.”
I absolutely loved this film!
It’s totally nuts and extremely violent but, oh my god is it funny!
I know I didn’t list “comedy” in the genres above but this movie is a riot if you’re a fan of subtle and dark, dark humour.
Christian Bale absolutely owns this film. He’s brilliant as the main character, Patrick Bateman and although the supporting cast all do their jobs extremely well, it’s Bale that makes this film so enjoyable to watch.
It’s funny, until maybe Batman Begins (2005), or possibly even Equilibrium (2002) I hadn’t really seen him in anything. I’ve still never seen Empire of the Sun!
The thing that really struck me with this movie (other than Bale’s superb performance) was the dialogue.
Now, I know I sound like a film critic right now but stay stay with me.
Every now and again I watch a film where the dialogue flows so naturally that it doesn’t feel like I’m watching a scripted film at all. It’s like the actors are those characters and the words are spoken as naturally as when you or I have a conversation. Of course, a lot of that is down to the performance too, but this film is so well scripted, it’s nothing short of genius!
From the way Christian Bale’s character narrates the film, giving us every detail of his thought process and even his daily grooming routine, down to his analysis and critique of the Huey Lewis and the News album, “Fore!” I fully bought into the idea that he was that guy.
It’s so unique compared to a lot of other films of it’s kind and I think that’s one of things that makes it such a compelling watch.
I can’t believe I’ve only just gotten around to watching this movie but I’m so glad I did. It’s sickeningly funny, unapologetically violent and yet surprisingly gore-free for a film about a psychotic, yet suave and sophisticated serial killer. I might even have to read the book now...
If you haven’t seen this film I highly recommend giving it a watch as soon as possible.
Seen it? Let me know below.