starring Jeremy Renner, Bruce Davison, Artel Kayaru, Matt Newton
written and directed by David Jacobson
by Walter Chaw Well-acted but without a point-of-view, hyphenate David Jacobson's sophomore feature Dahmer is less biopic than Arthouse Exploitation Lite, a curiously uninvolving glimpse into the banal life and times of a serial murderer. Rather than portray the stalking and vivisection of man as grotesquely vapid (like its more successful brothers Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer or The Untold Story), Dahmer chooses that same all-too-familiar docudrama frankness to illustrate a sick man's loneliness and inability to make a true connection with another human being. It's not attempting to humanize Dahmer so much as it's attempting to elevate Dahmer to the level of great post-modern anti-hero: unromantic, unexceptional, and unmoored, utterly, from moral responsibility--Beavis playing frog baseball with a holy trinity of representative pretty-boy victims. Even its end title card, reporting (we infer "mournfully") that the titular bogey was murdered just two years into his 1,070-year sentence by a fellow inmate, seems intended as an epitaph for a misunderstood prophet rather than a declaration of karma asserting itself, penitentiary-style.