Thursday, 17 May 2012

American Psycho II: All American Girl (2002)

American Psycho wasn't ever a movie that I thought needed a sequel. It was a self-contained slice of cinema gold. But such a thought has never occurred to film executives before so why should it occur now?

After an opening sequence that pretty much pisses all over the greatness of the ending of the first movie, this film then moves on to establish its own identity as we follow the latest psycho on the block (played by Mila Kunis), a young woman determined to be the best in her class so that she gets to follow the path she has chosen for herself all the way to the FBI training facility at Quantico. If she can't achieve her goals simply by being the best in her class and working hard then she has no qualms about getting rid of anything (or, more specifically, anyone) in her way.

Directed by Morgan J. Freeman, this is an example in many ways of how to create a bad sequel. It creates a tenuous connection to the first movie that feels quite disrespectful, for want of a better word, and it simply moves from one ridiculous moment to the next after that.

Luckily, the cast help make this rubbish entertaining. Mila Kunis isn't all that believable in the lead role but she's always a welcome presence onscreen and has fun delivering some of the dialogue. William Shatner is also good fun to watch (when is "The Shat" never entertaining?), Lindy Booth and Kim Poirier lift things with their small roles and Geraint Wyn Davies is amusingly perplexed as the psychiatrist who doesn't make much professional headway with the leading lady. Robin Dunne and Keith Lawson also do fine with their roles.

While it's far removed from the sly, dark humour of the first film, American Psycho 2 does bring along a camp, over the top tone that makes things fitfully amusing. The script by Alex Sanger and Karen Craig seems to know from the very beginning that the very idea of a sequel following on from the first movie is a ridiculous notion and so it starts piling on the absurdities one after the other until we get to a grand finale that is as laughable (both intentionally and unintentionally) as it is unbelievable.

You could certainly wring some entertainment from this movie, as I did, but it's not one I'd recommend and it's certainly not one that you're likely to be won over by if you were as big a fan of the first film as I was.


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