The film-going public is clamouring for fresh new ideas, yet familiar franchises keep, for lack of a better term, hogging the limelight. Yet, a franchise name power might be enough to get a cautious audience to take more of a chance on a novel idea. In 2002, a tangentially related script got the Bateman treatment, allowing it to be revitalised and become recognised for its ambition, in American Psycho 2: All American Girl.
After killing notorious killer Patrick Bateman, who was at the time, was in the middle of dissecting her babysitter. Rachael Newman develops a taste for tackling serial killers and dedicates her life to becoming Quantico’s finest. After working hard to get into West Washington University, studying under the tutelage of the brilliant Professor Starkman. A competitive post opens as Starkman’s Teaching Assistant, a job that has a proven track record for great things in the F.B.I., but her determination might not be enough to secure the position. Would it be enough to kill for? As Rachel delves deeper into her own conflicted quest for her ambitions, revelations will be revealed about this apparent All American Girl.
Let’s start with the elephant in the room. I do not believe that the original script had any references to American Psycho initially, the direct references are ancillary enough that they feel like that they could be culled, but still leave a very entertaining film. The benefits of this approach do present themselves here, particularly of not getting in the way of the film’s original concepts. Meanwhile, providing this script with an opportunity to reach a wider audience, than if it was left to its own devices. This can be seen in the Cloverfield franchise and what it has done for buried scripts, I believe that American Psycho has done here.
At the core of All American Girl is this intriguing satire of the competitive nature of university life, and as such, there is a darkly comedic vein, especially from Newman’s internal monologues. I feel Kunis portrayal manages to strike at the heart of the film’s sensibilities, demonstrating her potential greatly. Among Rachel’s competition for the coveted T.A. position lies a diverse group of students, they each have advantages over Rachel, like being well-connected, and meeting the age requirements. vaguely like the 2013 film, Filth, there’s fun seeing Kunis don the role of a Machiavellian murderer and reduce the completion. Also joining her is TekWar veteran and Star Trek captain William Shatner playing Professor Starkman another brilliant mind who also likes to fool around with his students. Counteracting off the two is Geraint Wyn Davies as Eric, the psychiatrist who after spending time with Newman, has some alarm bells raised in his head.
American Psycho 2 is an apt pupil, showing the potential of its story and its future rising star, Mila Kunis. You will see a lot of talent run wild with, and it is fun seeing the competitive side of university life taken to a murderous conclusion. All American Girl never forgets to be witty while mostly being its own thing. While it might be derided as a direct-to-D.V.D. cash grab, if you give it a chance, much like with Newman, you’ll find appearances can be deceiving.
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