In a Summer where big blockbusters and three-quels are king, its a shame that one of the better films ended up slipping through the cracks. I admit I was’nt planning on seeing Mr. Brooks until a buddy of mine (one of the five remaining Costner fans) urged me to see it…..I’m glad he did. Mr. Brooks might be one of the overlooked winners in the busiest summer the movie industry has seen in Year.

Kevin Costner stars as Earl Brooks, a soft spoken man who owns a highly successful box company, he has a beautiful family and is Man of the year in his community. It really doesnt get any better for Earl Brooks, but I suppose as a lot of us do..we get bored and harbor addictions. While some of us take up smoking or drinking or Thursday night TV. Mr. Brooks prefers killing, and he does so with the aid of his imaginary friend Marshall (played perfectly by William Hurt). Earl and Marshall plan each killing out with the careful planning that he uses in every other aspect of his perfect life, leaving no traces and leaving the cops clueless. After taking a long break from killing, the hunger comes back and Marshall talks Earl into having a little taste of the old hobby he misses so much. This time Earl makes a mistake not noticing the open curtains while he disposes of a young couple  in their apartment. This mistake of-course comes back to haunt Mr. Brooks when a young photographer (Dane Cook) shows up in his office the next day wanting to feel the rush of the kill. Throw in an obsessive detective played by Demi Moore (remember her?!) and her nightmare divorce and little Jane Brook’s college problems and all the sudden Mr. Brooks and his imaginary friend have their plates pretty full. Wooo….is there enough going on there for you?

It all rolls together very well and the story doesn’t stall in one area very long. This is the kind of role that Kevin Costner is very good in, the soft spoken, stoic, good guy. While yes it sounds bizarre, Mr. Brooks is a good guy who knows he has an awful problem, he goes to AA meetings for crying out loud. William Hurt is a scene stealer giving us a little more of that darker character that so many loved in “A History Of Violence” and the chemistry between the two extremes was my favorite part of the movie. They draw off of each other very well. The supporting cast all does very well in holding up their ends of the story and seeing Dane Cook in “Serious” mode is an entertaining change, even though he still needs some work.

I think its Ironic that Marg Helgenberger play Earl’s wife because a CSI unit will have a field day with Brook’s antics. We often have to look the other way when logic creeps into the picture when concerning the plot, but its a small flaw in a film that overachieves in alot of other ways.

I’m not gonna say Kevin Costner is back…..some would argue if he’d ever arrived to began with, but Mr. Brooks is a good film and its a welcome change from the countless huge blockbuster’s that is the summer of 07. The concept is sharp, the acting is on target and any script that could have you caring for the welfare of a demented killer has something going for it. I think if a lot of people would have seen this instead of some of the other junk that came out this summer, there would be more happy people leaving the theater.

Mr. Brooks: B