Please don't tell me it was supposed to be played for laughs all along, because I don't buy it. Too late to save it from doom, the twists and snafus in Mr. Brooks start coming too fast for the audience to absorb, and the movie turns delusional.
The film emerges as a subtle commentary on a disquieting aspect of our current culture -- a commentary on the nature of a masturbatory voyeurism and how it fosters heartlessness by turning other people into objects.
What compels isn't the overwrought plot, but the simpler things, the dynamics between the actors, the avuncularity between old pros Costner and Hurt and the class condescension between Costner and Cook. It has a fascinatin' rhythm.
This is one of those slick, violent, ridiculous Hollywood jobs that make little sense as a story, a comment on life, or a depiction of characters, but are moderately enjoyable in their spinning of movie conventions.