Color, 2002, 88 mins.
Directed by Morgan J. Freeman
Starring Mila Kunis, William Shatner, Gerant Wyn Davis, Robin Dunne, Brian Berrebbi / Cinematography by Vanja Cernjul
Trimark/Liongate (US R1 NTSC) / WS (1.85:1) (16:9)

There are worse ways to kill an hour and a half in front of a television, but American Psycho 2 is certainly one of the more expendable. Trading in all of the social commentary and gruesome wit of the Bret Easton Ellis novel and subsequent Mary Harmon film with Christian Bale, this marginal sequel patches together its less than compelling narrative with far too much narration and a bizarre refusal to indulge in either full-blooded horror or outrageous comedy. The result is a peculiar and ultimately pointless exercise, skirting the edge of the teen horror, art house, and camp movie trends without ever finding any kind of voice of its own.

The film begins with pretty college student Rachael (Black Swan's Kunis) explaining how she became fascinated with serial killers at the tender age of twelve after killing off legendary '80s psycho Patrick Bateman and leaving the scene of the crime undetected. Now setting her sights on the FBI, freshman Rachael decides to become the teaching assistant to former agent Prof. Robert Starkman (Shatner) - who coincidentally left the Bureau after the Bateman case collapsed. Unfortunately Rachael faces some tough competition for the coveted position with Starkman, and soon she's bumping off her rivals (and anyone else who gets in her way). Only psychiatrist Dr. Daniels (Wyn Davis) suspects that something may be dangerously awry with this all American beauty.

Though it moves along at a steady clip and tries to spike the viewer's interest with a barrage of irritating pseudo-alternative tunes, American Psycho 2 would be thoroughly bland even if it didn't try to posit itself as a sequel to one of the more controversial tales of the past two decades. The connection to Bateman (obviously played in flashback by someone other than Christian Bale) merely serves as a reminder of how little this film has on its mind; the cutthroat college/prep school routine has already been done to death in films like Gossip, The In Crowd, The Curve, and so on. The few attempts to inject some pop culture irony fall dismally flat (such as one victim's dog carrying the name of Ricky Martin), and the entire script feels like an unpolished first draft that went before the cameras far too soon. At least the lead actors try their best, chewing into their roles with an almost disconcerting amount of enthusiasm. Fans of the beautiful Kunis should find plenty to ogle here, as she struts around in a wide array of low-cut leather outfits and tank tops, carrying the extremely light weight of this film on her slim, often bared shoulders.

The anamorphic transfer from Lions Gate looks fine considering this film never had a real theatrical run; presumably the aspect ratio is correct. Colors are rich and stable, though the low budget results in some grain and inconsistent lighting at times (exacerbated by a few awkward shots apparently captured with a zoom lens). Surround channels remain active primarily through the music, while dialogue and ambient effects are generally centered. It's a pretty standard affair, audio and video-wise, with little to complain about. The disc also contains the trailer, English and Spanish subtitles, a handful of deleted scenes, and director's and producer's commentary (which were advertised but not completed in time to include on the screener discs).