There’s an audience for American Psycho. Anyone who doesn’t get every ounce of the satire, absurdity, and dialogue will be lost as to the appeal. Either way, it’s an uneven and confusing movie with a dark sense of humor that can be entertaining.
Christian Bale is the star here, and he makes the most out his portrayal of deranged killer Patrick Bateman. He’s campy, hilarious, and somehow absurdly believable as he slaughters his victims on and off screen. Reese Witherspoon is right behind him with her performance, though her role is sadly limited.
The movie isn’t so much a movie about a deranged killer as it is the culture around him. The ignorance of the inflated egos is twisted to the point where no one picks up on Bale’s madness. No one even hears Bale chasing a hooker down a flight of steps with a chainsaw roaring and the girl screaming. It’s not believable, and it’s not supposed to be in the sense of the movie’s world.
Humor is as dark as it gets, and off-putting to those not expecting it. Bale produces some classics, letting his opposite personality show through at inopportune times, while others brush the statements off as if they’re nothing. His way of twisting words makes for classic movie dialogue, both for sheer entertainment and in setting the tone.
American Psycho’s problem is one of clarity. The ending is convoluted and confusing. The commentary on the disc explains what was shot and what happened, but without this, the audience is left confused. This one is desperately seeking clarification in the script.
For fans of dark comedies, they rarely come better than this. It’s twisted, sick, and “laugh out loud” funny if your sense of humor is in the right place. American Psycho is also a pitch perfect satire of this subset of ‘80s culture. Confusing ending or not, there’s enough here to recommend.
On Blu-ray, the film barely rises above the quality of the DVD. For a film shot in 2000, the print exhibits extensive damage. Scratches are specks are everywhere. The transfer looks overly filtered, and garish edge enhancement is noticeable in nearly every scene. Deep blacks can’t hide any of these flaws. DNR ruins all detail. Aside from added sharpness thanks to the resolution increase, you’re not missing much by sticking with the DVD.
DTS-HD offers a 6.1 mix, but it’s wasted on a movie this front-loaded. Small scenes that were shot in a club offer the only noticeable audio punch, including bass from the music and slight surround work as the patrons talk. A brief shoot-out comes off flat without the expected impact from the audio.
Two commentaries, one with the director and the other with screenwriter Guinevere Turner (the latter who explains the ending), begin the extra features. There’s little reason the two couldn’t have combined for a single commentary track. Deleted scenes are available with commentary and cast insights, lasting for 12 minutes total. Finally, The ‘80s Downtown is a half hour look into the era, the styles, and the people.