This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
monobloc’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Forgot how much I love this. Christian Bale is pitch-perfect from start to finish, with fantastically written scene upon fantastically written scene giving him the chance to show off his range in a way most roles wouldn’t permit.
As a satire it’s almost perfect (notwithstanding Bryce’s slightly trite speculation about Ronald Reagan in the closing minutes) and the overwhelming vacuousness of New York’s yuppie financier culture - so impenetrable that even the buildings seem to shift and anonymise around Patrick during the climactic sequence - is such that our warped protagonist becomes almost sympathetic. Sure, he may he killing innocent people, but at least he’s aware enough of his society’s fundamental wickedness that he’s acting out against it.
The idea that all of the events are hallucinated seems pretty daft and completely undermines the film’s theme and outright prevents it from working as a satire. To the extent that Patrick begins to lose touch with reality it’s largely a consequence of the way he’s consistently gaslit by the people around him. If Patrick’s killings are all delusional, it’s just a movie about a sick guy. Which is much less interesting than a movie about a sick lifestyle and culture.