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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

American Psycho (2000)


The 80s… those were the days. Plastic pop, designer drugs, pretension, fake wealth, bad hair. What a decade.

With a chiseled chin and an iron physique, Patrick Bateman’s looks make him the ideal yuppie — and the ideal serial killer. That’s the joke behind American Psycho, which follows a killer at large during the 1980s junk-bond boom. Bateman (Christian Bale) takes pathological pride in everything from his business card to his Huey Lewis CD collection, all the while plotting his next victim’s vivisection.

Taking a first glance at this film, you would think that it’s a horror film. However, it’s more of satire about all things that weren’t ever cool in the 80’s.

I have not read the book that this film is based off of and to say the least, I really do wish I did, even though this provides a lot of depth for a story and detail for a story about a yuppie who just goes around killing people. But I may have to tell you that it’s more about just the killings, it’s about the person behind the killings.

Director and co-writer Mary Harron puts a new spin on the horror genre and brings a lot of satire here that actually had me laughing. You see all these Wall Street dudes who are so full of themselves, and have so much greed that you just think these are the sickest and most cliche bastards ever, but that’s the whole joke. As Bateman continues with killing these people left-and-right, you may actually find yourself laughing because of the way all of these killings are portrayed, but then you soon realize, he’s laughing with you too.

The film also brings out a lot of great questions about what’s more violent; the fantasies we have in our head about certain amounts of violence, or the actual violence we see in day-to-day life. Bateman has no real reason or inspiration for these killings, and this whole film is not the portrait of an actual serial-killer.

This is more the portrait of a personality and that there are many people out there like this over-achiever, narcissistic, egotistical, and self-centered Patrick Bateman guy here who do whatever they can to satisfy their own needs, and forget everyone else’s. I also liked the fact that you never rarely see any of the killings except for some, and it’s all left to your imagination really and aside all of the chainsaw’s and axes that there’s more of an edge and smarter side to all of these killings because they all have reason.

My problem that I had with this film was actually this random sequence that went on for about 10 minutes and to me just felt totally bogus and not like the whole film at all. There’s a lot of action that goes down, and without giving too much away, just feels like a total fantasy in the end and made no real sense as to why it had to be involved.

Another problem I had which kind of had me confused, was how all of the female characters in this film are practically almost half-human and fall for any type of dumb gag, and it’s funny because you would think that with a film directed and written by a lady, there would be so much more to these lady characters. But for some reason they just seemed stale and very dumb.

Christian Bale really has made himself a house-hold name in Hollywood today, but people almost forget that his role as Patrick Bateman is the real reason. This character is the biggest douche-bag in the whole entire world and walks around like he’s hot shit just hoping that others notice how much his amazing suit cost, and how he just got in so much shape. Bale plays all of this narcissistic act very well in a compelling performance that had me loving this charming, and almost every-day serial killer. Bale really has made a name for himself in today’s world of Hollywood, but if you ask me, this is where people really started to notice.

The rest of the cast is alright even though they don’t really do much compared to Bale. Names such as Jared Leto, Willem Dafoe, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas, Justin Theroux, and a sweet little performance from Chloe Sevigny. A good cast, but then again, they aren’t really given anything good in the first place.

Consensus: Though parts of it may not work as well as others, American Psycho is a great blend of horror and comedy, that makes the scares into satire, and features an amazing, star-making performance from Christian Bale.

8/10=Matinee!!

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20 responses to “American Psycho (2000)

  1. Mark August 20, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Agreed a one of my favourite Bale performances.

    Have to say best description of Patrick Bateman I have ever heard – “This character is the biggest douche-bag in the whole entire world”.

    Did make me chuckle.

  2. Duke August 20, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Not the biggest of Bail fans, but I need to see this one – it has been ages.

    Hopefully my email will push you in the right direction and help you out a little.

    Peace.

  3. Candice Frederick August 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    this is certainly one of my favorite performances from bale. he is pitch perfect in this. and, hey, it was the 80s. i think the female characters were really true to life. there are still a lot of women as naive or mindless as some of these women sometimes were. but i did like chloe sevigny in the movie as well.

    • CMrok93 August 20, 2011 at 5:43 pm

      I liked Sevigny and the girls were kind of dumb-asses but Bale is just amazing. He’s so good as this douche-bag and then it was even better when we found out he’s almost the same way in real-life.

  4. Film Addict August 20, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Have yet to see this one but the director has a new movie coming out. Yet another adaptation. The Moth Diaries. I’m looking forward to it. One of the books that I actually finished reading.

  5. Steven Flores August 20, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Ah, I do love this film. My favorite scene was the Huey Lewis scene. Give Huey Lewis a comeback!!!!

  6. fogsmoviereviews August 20, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Phenomenal movie. Seriously great.

    It’s total satire, Dan, and the part where you’re wondering what’s real and what isn’t is intentional, not sloppy. Its meant to leave the viewer questioning if this were all just imaginary… that the world of high corporate bullshit of the 80s was enough to drive people into insantiy where brutally mudering others was preferable to the brain than the banilty of actual existence. Great flick.

  7. Nostra August 20, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    You state that this movie is not really horror. I always thought it was so I’ve never watched it…guess I should give it a chance….

  8. Eric August 22, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    This is one of my favorite movies, and it is what made me a Christian Bale fan. It gets better with every viewing, too. Love it.

  9. thisweeksflixpix August 24, 2011 at 1:02 am

    This is absolutely one of my favorite movies. I implore you to check out the book–if you thought the movie was funny, you’re going to die reading Bret Easton Ellis’ novel. It’s a fucking masterpiece.

  10. Ashkan August 30, 2011 at 9:07 am

    BALE Was Amazing !

  11. Pingback: “American Psycho”: Going inside the criminal mind « Radu presents: The Movie-Photo Blog

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