By Heather Leszczewicz Special to Published Jun 01, 2007 at 5:06 AM

People don't normally root for the bad guy. In the classic battle of the good guy versus the bad guy, history tells us that the good guy must win. Well, when the righteous and the villainous aren't clearly marked, who do you root for?

Kevin Costner's newest thriller, "Mr. Brooks," harkens back to his role in "The Untouchables." He tries to do good and be good, but there's something pulling him to the other side. Mr. Brooks is no Eliot Ness, but he's just as complex.

As the CEO of a box company, Earl Brooks (Costner) has a hunger inside him, an alter ego by the name of Marshall (William Hurt). Marshall's always whispering in Earl's ear, trying to get him to do what he swore he'd never do again: Kill.

While his wife Emma (Marg Helgenberger) discusses their troubled daughter and what type of dog she wants to get, Earl is giving in to Marshall's promptings. By the end of the night that he was honored for his contributions to the company, Earl has once again become the "Thumbprint Killer."

But two things he didn't bargain for arise. One being his counterpart, Mr. Smith, (Dane Cook) who caught him via photographs killing his newest victims and wants in on a killing, and the other, Detective Tracy Atwood (Demi Moore), a woman set on bringing killers to justice while she fights her ex-husband on support issues.

Both are out there to trip Mr. Brooks up, but with both Marshall and Earl watching, it won't be easy.

Although it starts off slow, "Mr. Brooks" starts weaving a tale, laced with Earl's incessant serenity prayers and the sinister hissing of Marshall in his ear, that will have people glued to their seats.

Whoever thought to put Hurt and Costner together, as two sides of a coin, was genius. To watch them together, laughing and planning, gave off the most uncomfortable, creepy vibe. Marshall is a figment of Earl's mind and the way the filmmakers seamlessly brought him into the scenes was intelligent.

Cook, the funny man that he is, has a downplayed comedy to him in "Mr. Brooks." A serious role does him good. As Mr. Smith, he has a caged animal aura, he wants to kill and he wants Earl to show him how.

As for Moore's Detective Atwood, half of her storyline isn't integral to the plot, including the revelation that a killer broke out of jail just to kill her and her ex-husband's plotline. She needed to look further into the Thumbprint killer case rather than having so much background. There's also a completely unnecessary gunfight, complete with strobe light effects and the background sound pumping louder than the entire rest of the movie. It's a poor excuse for intense action in a movie that was doing fine without it.

Go to "Mr. Brooks" for the drama and thrilling portions of the movie, with twists and turns unforeseen. Forgive the movie for trying to be "Smokin' Aces" or additional scenes of Moore's comeback in "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle."




Heather Leszczewicz Special to

Originally from Des Plaines, Ill., Heather moved to Milwaukee to earn a B.A. in journalism from Marquette University. With a tongue-twisting last name like Leszczewicz, it's best to go into a career where people don't need to say your name often.

However, she's still sticking to some of her Illinoisan ways (she won't reform when it comes to things like pop, water fountain or ATM), though she's grown to enjoy her time in the Brew City.

Although her journalism career is still budding, Heather has had the chance for some once-in-a-lifetime interviews with celebrities like actor Vince Vaughn and actress Charlize Theron, director Cameron Crowe and singers Ben Kweller and Isaac Hanson of '90s brother boy band Hanson. 

Heather's a self-proclaimed workaholic but loves her entertainment. She's a real television and movie fanatic, book nerd, music junkie, coffee addict and pop culture aficionado.