American Psycho
Rating: * * Director: Mary Harron Running time: 102 minutes Language: EnglishNow showing

Anybody who's been on an Internet mailing list or in a chat room for a while will surely know of the "Hitler Rule." What this rule establishes is that any discussion, thread or flame-war shall be automatically terminated (or failing that, ignored) when one of the participants compares his opponent's position to that of Adolf Hitler and/or the Nazis. Usually this occurs in a discussion on such life-or-death subjects as Limp Bizkit, Napster or Bill Gates, but the ridiculous overkill of equating the Holocaust to Windows 95 rarely stops anyone from doing so.

Somebody should have reminded director Mary Harron of the "Hitler Rule" when she decided to film an adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' calculatedly controversial novel, "American Psycho." Harron's film, like Ellis' novel, seeks to satirize the greed culture of '80s Wall Street by portraying a nasty yuppie stockbroker who's also -- are you ready? here's the joke -- a serial killer. You know, yuppies are such amoral scum that no one would even notice the difference if one of them was a deranged brain-eater!

That's the premise of Ellis' novel, which paints its central character, broker Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), as an utter blank, whose inner life consists of cataloging brand-name products, name-dropping upscale restaurants and detailing gruesome mutilation.