Matt Smith - Critics Disagree On Not So Psychotic "American Psycho"

Subscribe to Matt Smith alerts

Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho has been reinvented for the West End’s Almeida Theatre and critics are torn. Naturally, the main point of disagreement between theatre buffs is Matt Smith’s performance as axe murdering yuppie Patrick Bateman.

Matt Smith, Doctor Who 50th Celebration
Smith typically gets better reviews for his Doctor Who acting than his take on Patrick Bateman.

Few could imagine anyone other than Christian Bale in that role and yet, Smith pulled it off, at least according to The Guardian’s review. Michael Billington approves of the production’s “cool wit” and notes that in this stage version, “Goold's stylish production, Duncan Sheik's music and lyrics and Matt Smith's beautifully defined performance” come together to recreate a perfectly glossy façade, which hides the much darker reality. According to him, the musical’s constant switching between “insane violence and the debauched idyll” is what gives this show most of its power.

Rupert Goold
The lack of gore in Rupert Goold's interpretation makes it ring hollow for some critics.

Variety’s David Benedict is not convinced. According to him, the show is “all style, no substance”, which he concedes might be just the point. The review argues that the main problem is that the show never really presents Bateman’s murderous spree as real. While the original film presented his psychotic behavior as something very real and terrifying, the musical fails to reach the same level of horror, because it makes it clear that the violence is all a fantasy, Benedict argues. “That may come from the well-intentioned position of not wishing to revel in Bateman’s murderous violence as he slaughters prostitutes and rivals of both genders,” the review says. “Whatever the reason, it robs the show of darkness and, for the most part, any galvanizing sense of horror.”

The Telegraph had no sympathy for most of the production. While critic Charles Spencer praised Duncan Sheik’s “excellent” score, he pegged the rest of the show as an “empty mixture of ironic style and sudden moments of violence.” While Ed Devlin’s sleek designs are create a great landscape, the audience never experiences the violence of the movie or the book, which Spencer argues is the musical’s biggest failing. Like other critics, he is also less than impressed with Matt Smith’s portrayal of Bateman – he is described as “boringly blank, and never comes close to catching the characters mental disintegration.” Not the best review for Smith’s dramatic debut.

Susannah Fielding
Susannah Fielding receives some praise as part of a solid supporting cast.


Tags: Matt Smith

Subscribe to Matt Smith alerts

More Matt Smith

Arnold Schwarzenegger Is Back In Action In 'Terminator: Genisys' [Teaser Trailer]

It's finally here! The trailer for 'Terminator: Genisys' has now been unveiled with Arnold Schwarzenegger as badass as ever, not to mention Sarah Connor, and...

Terminator Genisys Trailer

Mankind has been all but wiped out. When Skynet became self-aware, it launched tactical nuclear strikes against the human race, with an army of robots...

'Terminator: Genisys' Images Ridiculed on Twitter as PR Nightmare Continues

Ok, so Terminator: Genisys may turn out to be one of the finest action sci-fi movies of recent times when it's released next year but...

Matt Smith Signs on For 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies'

Former Doctor Who Matt Smith has signed on to star alongside Lily James, Sam Riley and Jack Huston in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the...


So, What Did Peter Capaldi Do Before 'Doctor Who'?

Peter Capaldiwill make his debut series appearance as the twelfth doctor when series eight ofDoctor Whobegins on 23 August 2014. At 55 years old when...

BBC Drowns The "Doctor Who" Leak In A Flood Of New Capaldi Content

The past couple of days have been a feast for any diehard Doctor Who fan – first several DW scripts were leaked online in what...

5 Actors Who Could Play Newt Scamander In 'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them'

So, the question on everybody’s lips is “who should play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?” We’re seriously excited about the...

How The BBC Nearly Cancelled Doctor Who - Closest Shave in TV History?

As popular as Doctor Who is now, it’s impossible to imagine TV without it, but we were nearly forced to live that reality when, back...



Matt Smith Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Matt Smith

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All