Critical Kemp

Critical Kemp on American Psycho

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American Psycho”  (Avail on DVD)

I’d have to assume almost anyone visiting this site is familiar with Christian Bale by now, who is now arguably the action hero of this generation, with cherry roles such as Batman, and as the new John Connor in the “Terminator” franchise, he has now become the mainstream American movie-star bad ass, which is interesting because he’s actually a Brit.  But this guy has been around the block for decades now, and I submit has earned his stripes along the way.  He of course had a colossal break in his youth, being cast by Steven Spielberg in “Empire of the Sun”, and managed to make it through childhood stardom without blowing out his septum or going down the path of the Edward Furlong (the original John Connor in “T2” ) and partying his way out of career.  Bale took on some acclaimed English period pieces, and a role in “The Machinist” where he lost some ungodly amount of weight, looking emaciated to the point you could count his ribs, but proving he had the chops and commitment to a role to deserve respect as a qualified adult actor.

“American Psycho” is a rare movie in Bale’s portfolio because it is the one showcase where Bale shows his ability in comedic timing.  The humor, albeit dark, is found throughout this flick that is otherwise about petty jealousies, 80s New York decadence and truly bloody murder.  The posted scene with the business cards I think is the funniest, but it is followed closely by others with Bale’s character offering absurd expositions about cheesy 80s pop songs.  The guy has no taste, but pontificates to hookers about the deep meaning of lyrics in “Sussudio” and “The Greatest Love” from Whitney Houston.  In one of these moments, he’s interweaving filthy sexual instructions to two hookers while citing lines from Phil Collins, and explaining their importance and social relevance.  Not overt humor, but damn funny.  The suspense, murder and violent scenes in this movie are worthy by their own merit, but I find it is the dark comedy that Bale executes with both style and cheese that makes this movie worth  watching, and certainly Rollin Approved.

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