Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Brothers Bloom

Directed by Rian Johnson.
2009. Rated PG-13, 113 minutes.
Adrien Brody
Rachel Weisz
Mark Ruffalo
Rinko Kikuchi
Maximillian Schell
Robbie Coltrane

Plot: Bloom (Brody) agrees to pull one last con with his older brother Stephen (Ruffalo) before getting out of the family business, for good.

The Good: Right from the beginning we’re drawn in by the elaborate cons. They create multiple stories within the framework of the larger plot. They also keep us guessing where exactly they end. The sense of humor is slick. It’s the kind that makes you chuckle and say “You gotta be kidding me,” but in a good way. Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo are both good, as usual. However, Rachel Weisz’s turn as the naïve and eccentric Penelope makes the movie tick. Her charm is infectious and we understand why Bloom is taken with her. Lastly, we get a wonderful ending in which everyone gets everything they want, to borrow Stephen’s terminology. Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as sappy as it sounds.

The Bad: Our villain, Diamond Dog (Schell) is barely visible. We see him a couple times and hear a little about what’s gone on between he and the boys, but we never feel it. Therefore, he doesn’t seem like someone to be feared. Finally, as much as we like Penelope, she’s a little too naive, bordering on stupid. The old saying goes “Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on me.” She’s obviously not familiar with the second half of that adage.

The Ugly: Does Bang Bang (Kikuchi) really go bang bang?

Recommendation: If you’re at all into heist movies or movies about con-men, this is for you. I was very pleasantly surprised as this has flown under the radar. However, you should be aware this is a con-movie sans car chases and tense standoffs with the authorities. Somehow, it still delivers the thrills.

The Opposite View: Jason Di Rosso, Movie Time - ABC Radio National

What the Internet Says: 7.0/10 on imdb.com (6/15/10), 65% on rottentomatoes.com, 55/100 on metacritic.com

MY SCORE: 7.5/10

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