Bale plays Patrick Bateman, a staggeringly over-paid Wall Street weenie who has a dark secret: in his spare time, he likes to murder people. None of his over-paid weenie friends seems to notice or care, which sets the stage for this examination of "traditional American values" against an amoral background of psychopathic frenzy. What exactly does that mean? Watch and find out for yourself.
Bale is viciously amoral as an investment banker at the height of '80s capital exploitation. Performing virtually no actual work, he is rich beyond the dreams of Midas thanks to his old man, and thus free to satisfy his other passions, which involve murdering the homeless and torturing and killing prostitutes with a chain-saw. These goals he pursues with glorious abandon, until an odd pang of conscience compels him to stop and confess-all to his lawyer over the phone.
Luckily, his lawyer is an over-paid weenie too and completely disregards his entire confession as a prank, leaving Bateman (Bale), in one of cinema's arguably most interesting audience confessions, to admit that the entire movie -- itself his confession -- meant absolutely nothing.
It is interesting to note that Psycho was a controversial film at its release. On the surface, it may not be surprising that a film examining psychopathy would be controversial. However, Bale's psychopathy -- or at least his propensity to murder the innocent -- had nothing whatever to do with Psycho's controversy. It was instead a two minute sequence that depicts Bale having sex with two women that garnered the most controversy of the entire film. Why? Because he looked really cold as he watched himself performing in a mirror.
Murder is a-okay, but sex, well we still have a pretty major hang-up about that. Maybe if we ever send troops off to Iraq to screw people to death, sex will become a-okay too.