Warning: MAJOR SPOILER.
"I had a dream" was all well and good for Martin Luther King, but I'm pretty damn sick of it when it comes to television and film. First there was that whole "Dallas" fiasco followed by every uncreative hack within a ten mile radius of Hollywood writing that easy-out ending for a new film or TV show. Apparently, dreaming and bad writing are suddenly in.
A real Patrick Bateman is a lot more frightening than one who just imagines things in his head. Hell, we all imagine killing people in our head. Jung called that our shadow and as long as it's kept under control, it's basically a normal part of our psyche. In my head, I've been hacking director Mary Harron with a meat cleaver since just shortly after this film ended. Am I actually going to hunt her down and hack her up with a meat cleaver? Entirely unlikely. In fact, just for the FBI's satisfaction: no chance at all, none whatsoever, no way. There are many people who live closer to me that I can hack up with a meat cleaver.
Here's the greater message of "American Psycho": Trick endings are for feebs. They essentially prevent anybody from really discussing the film. It's pretty clear at the end of this one that Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) is just some pretty boy who imagines himself as a man of action. Because his life is so perverted and his values so screwed up, in this imagination he dreams of killing people. There were many better ways to end this film rather than the one that makes half the audience go "oh please, not that stupid trick again."
I wonder what Mary Harron thinks goes on inside the mind of the average man. I can assure you we're not thinking about picking flowers or how the guests are going to be influenced by a particular place setting. However, although I hated the '80s as much as anyone, there's no reason to think that what's going on in Patrick Bateman's mind is that much different from what was happening in the mind of some ultra-conservative in the '60s. Charles Manson wasn't a real person; he was just a manifestation of conservative vengeance. Sounds kind of stupid, doesn't it? Then perhaps you see my point about "American Psycho."
To spread the word about this American Psycho review on Twitter.To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.