Plot: What’s it about?
Patrick Bateman’s reign of terror has ended, but even years after the incident, the sole survivor of his sadistic spree remains scarred. Rachel Newman (Mila Kunis) was just a young girl when she wound up in Bateman’s presence, but even then, she was able to muster the courage to ensure her survival. Bateman tortured her babysitter right in front of Rachel’s eyes, but when she managed to stab him with a sharp instrument, his cruel existence ended. But even though she survived the attack, a little of Bateman’s sadistic nature has crept into her and that means she’ll do whatever she has to do, to get what she wants. Now in college, Rachel wants to become an FBI agent and if she were able to get a position with Dr. Daniels (William Shatner), it would almost lock her into the fast track. As Daniels is a well known former profiler, his recommendation means a lot and of course, his teacher’s assistant position is a highly sought after one. Rachel wants that space more than anyone however, as she is willing to do whatever it takes to gain it, even if that means doing away with the competition. But once she begins the bloodshed, will her inner demons be too strong for her to overcome?
I had some serious doubts about American Psycho 2, but it turned out to be a solid, enjoyable motion picture. Although it lacks the brilliant dark humor and bloodshed level of the original, this sequel has some great moments, to be sure. Also, this movie makes us overlook a plot conflict with the original picture that might shake some folks confidence, but stick with American Psycho 2, as it is well worth the suspension of disbelief. So don’t expect a consistent, traditional sequel, as the film takes some liberties, but deals with similar subject matter. While some found her to be annoying, I think Mila Kunis is terrific here, with a nice blend of sex appeal and danger, which you need with a character like hers here. Yes, she does slip at times and isn’t quite as predatory as the part demands, but she is fun to watch on the whole. But the man who steals this show is William Shatner, who is a treat to behold here and makes the experience that much better. In the end, American Psycho 2 is a solid movie on its own, but fails to live up to the standards of the original, especially in regard to brutality and intelligence. Even so, those interested should give the film a look, as Kunis & Shatner are fun and Lions Gate’s disc is superb in all respects.
Although she wouldn’t have been my first choice to handle this role, Mila Kunis turns in a good performance and won some points with me. Kunis’ vocals seem to raise the most ire with critics of this movie, but I didn’t find her voice to be annoying, so I am unsure why some folks were displeased in that regard. Her exotic good looks and innocent persona are perfect for this kind of role, since she’s supposed to be like the girl next door, just with a plethora of mental issues that result in murderous urges. And given her lack of experience in feature films, I was surprised at how well she handled herself here, with an eerie and highly enjoyable performance. Other films with Kunis include Get Over It, Krippendorf’s Tribe, Gia, and of course, she can be seen on the television series That ’70s Show. The cast also includes William Shatner (The Intruder, Incubus), Robin Dunne (The Skulls II, Cruel Intentions 2), Geraint Wyn Davis (D.O.A., Hypercube: Cube 2), and Lindy Booth (Century Hotel, Detroit Rock City).
Video: How does it look?
American Psycho 2 is presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Lions Gate has supplied a terrific visual effort here, with a sharp, impressive image that shows no serious flaws of any kind. As expected from such a young picture, the print is in great condition and has minimal defects, while the compression work is also top notch, I saw no edge enhancement or other authoring issues. I found colors to be vivid and rich, flesh tones were natural throughout, and black levels look excellent from start to finish. A superb visual presentation from Lions Gate, who continue to climb the ranks of DVD studios.
Audio: How does it sound?
I didn’t expect a whole lot from the included Dolby Digital 5.1 track, but it surprised me and offered some effective moments. I knew the musical soundtrack would make good use of the speakers, but this mix also brings the surrounds into the experience on a more frequent basis, which is good news. The audio is rich and takes advantage of all the channels, to enhance the eerie atmosphere and help build tension, which adds a lot to this picture’s impact. The surround use is never forced however, so the audio remains natural and that’s important, of course. The dialogue is crisp as can be also, with no volume errors to contend with. This disc also includes subtitles in English and Spanish.
Supplements: What are the extras?
An audio commentary with director Morgan J. Freeman starts us off, as he guides through the production’s various details. I find Freeman’s voice to be odd, as he sounds like he smoked a few bowls beforehand, slurring his speech and mumbling at times. Even so, he manages to relay some good information about the movie, so not all is lost. Freeman returns in a second audio commentary track also, but is joined by star Mila Kunis and this improves the session to no end, without question. Kunis has a terrific sense of humor and this track proves to be the better of the two, no doubt about it. This disc also includes a selection of deleted scenes, an alternate opening sequence, a reel of outtakes, and the film’s trailer.