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American Psycho 2

Review by: 
Head Cheeze
Release Date: 
Serial Killer
Aspect Ratio: 
Directed by: 
Morgan J. Freeman
Mila Kunis
William Shatner
Geraint Wyn Davies
Bottom Line: 

 There are a few questions I'd like to ask the folks behind American Psycho 2; not the least of which is why the film was made at all. More than that, however, I would like to inquire why someone would take what is obviously a very bad black comedy with no connection to the original film, and market it as a sequel. Did somebody think that fans of American Psycho would even want a sequel, let alone one that plays like a "dark" version of Scary Movie as opposed to the brilliant cultural satire that was it's predecessor? What is painfully obvious here is that Lion's Gate wanted to cash in on a surprise home video hit, and took a pedestrian stand-alone black comedy and slapped the American Psycho brand on it.
Rachel Newman (That 70's Show cutie, Mila Kunis) is a criminal justice student whose dream is to attend Quantico and become a federal agent. She's especially keen on criminal profiling, so much so she's developed a plan to make her dream a reality in the guise of a series of brutal slayings that will stump the folks she so admires, including her professor, Bobby Starkman (Shatner) and an actual profiler, Eric Daniels (played by Wyn Davies, who been M.I.A. since they cancelled the Forever Knight series!). Rachel's intended victims are some of her fellow classmates, who are all in the running to take over as Starkman's assistant, thus guaranteeing themselves a spot at Quantico. Rachel kills off her nemesis one by one, with seemingly obvious results, but after a few twists, we see that things are not as obvious as they originally seemed.
AP2 is a victim of studio manipulation more than anything else. Had the film been marketed as simply All American Girl, or anything other than a sequel to one of the best dark comedy thrillers in recent memory, then perhaps it could have found a niche' somewhere.Perhaps if it were offered as a teen slasher parody or dark indie comedy it would have gotten a different reaction from audiences, but by attaching it to American Psycho, it was savaged by an audience expecting something at least comparable to the quality of the original. The films are connected by a threadbare plotline in which Rachel was Patrick Bateman's only surviving victim. In this inane attempt to carry on the story from the first film, the writers have simply tossed aside any relevence to the original's rather ambiguous ending, instead telling us that Patrick Batemen was indeed an actual serial killer. It's a slap in the face to the original film, since it's coda was played out as the ultimate mind-fuck. Did any of this just happen? Was he really killing anyone? Or was he just an angry little fish in a big pond whose delusions helped pacify his desire to be more than just another faceless corporate automaton? These are questions we take away and ask ourselves later, and come to our own conclusions. That is what made Ellis' novel and Mary Harron's film so brilliant. The writer's of American Psycho 2, however, have stomped on the mystique and clarified it for everyone just so All American Girl could have an ever-so-slight peripheral relationship with the original film, and thus earn it's credentials as a "proper" sequel. Is it any surprise, then, that this film was universally panned and ultimately ignored?
It's a shame, really, because Kunis is actually quite charming as Rachel, and it's always nice to see Shatner chewing up the screen. As a matter of fact, I was actually entertained, in a brain-on-auto-pilot sort of way. While I wouldn't recommend that anyone rush out and buy it, I've seen it in the bargain bins, and if you can pick it up cheap, you could do a hell of a lot worse than this moderately entertaining flick.
The DVD features commentary tracks with Kunis and director Morgan J. Freeman (no, not him.) as well as deleted scenes and interviews with cast and crew. Listen closely and you can almost hear their facades crack as they talk about the film's connection with the original. It's so obvious that no one involved in this film either expected or wanted it to be a sequel to anything. It's a nice overall package to accompany a pretty harmless little movie hidden beneath an overachieving moniker.
While it's certainly not in league with it's namesake, American Psycho 2: All American Girl isn't quite as bad as some would lead you to believe. 

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