UK Release date: 21st April 2000
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 3rd March 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
Believe it or not, I had never seen this film before today; it’s one I’ve obviously wanted to see for a long time, but it’s always eluded me. I must say it was worth the wait; a very interesting take on the psychotic killer motif with one truly remarkable performance from Christian Bale. I should say that I’ve never read the book on which it’s based so I can’t compare it with the literary work but here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
It’s the 1980’s; a time of excess and there’s no one better at it than New York company Vice President Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale). But despite the money, the beautiful fiancée, Evelyn Williams (Reese Witherspoon) and a great apartment; he’s not happy. See Patrick has a secret; one that’s about to make his life very difficult. See, he’s a psychopathic killer and in a fit of jealousy he’s just murdered one of his colleagues. This brings in a detective, Donald Kimball (Willem Dafoe) who begins to poke about and Patrick is afraid he might discover more that he’s supposed to. This doesn’t stop him carrying on his ‘hobby’, he even nearly kills his own secretary Jean (Chloë Sevigny). But as time passes we can see he’s unravelling and it’s getting worse, even to the point where you begin to doubt what’s real and what’s just in his head. I think I’ll leave it there…
First off, Christian Bale is totally excellent in this part; because I’ve seen all the Batman films before seeing this, it came as a bit of a culture shock to see him in this particular role. But he carries it off brilliantly! I love the way his character’s narration overlay’s the images and the musical references are worked in so well. It’s a really well made film too with a pretentious cuisine and big chunky telephones taking us back to the 80’s. Having not read the book I did find some of it a little hard to follow, but I’ll add it to the reading list and give this one another look afterwards. Definitely worth a look though, if just for Bale’s performance.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 8.1/10.
IMDb Score: 7.6/10 (based on 202,870 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 64/100: (Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 83/100 (based on 262,961 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Evelyn Williams: Thousands of roses and lots of chocolate truffles. Godiva, and oysters in the half-shell.
Patrick Bateman: [Bateman narrating] I'm trying to listen to the new Robert Palmer tape, but Evelyn, my supposed fiancée, keeps buzzing in my ear.
Evelyn Williams: Annie Leibovitz. We'll get Annie Leibovitz. And we'll have to get someone to videotape. Patrick, we should do it.
Patrick Bateman: Do what?
Evelyn Williams: Get married. Have a wedding.
Patrick Bateman: No, I can't take the time off work.
Evelyn Williams: Your father practically owns the company. You can do anything you like, silly.
Patrick Bateman: I don't want to talk about it.
Evelyn Williams: You hate that job anyway. I don't see why you just don't quit.
Patrick Bateman: Because I want to fit in.
Evelyn Williams: What about the past?
Patrick Bateman: We never really shared one.
Waiter: Would you like to hear today's specials?
Patrick Bateman: Not if you want to keep your spleen.
Patrick Bateman: He was into that whole Yale thing.
Donald Kimball: Yale thing?
Patrick Bateman: Yeah, Yale thing.
Donald Kimball: What whole Yale thing?
Patrick Bateman: Well, for one thing, I think he was probably a closet homosexual who did a lot of cocaine. That whole Yale thing.