Review this movie
Jul 21, 2013We, as moviegoers, seem to be disproportionately preoccupied with the final scenes. While an ending can help put a positive twist on things, that is not its job. It can also let us walk away from a film with more questions than answers, or it can wrap everything up for us and let many of us leave the theater content. Even if an ending is not to our liking, we still seem to appreciate a clear, concise ending.
I say, all this focus on the last minutes does a terrible disservice to the rest of the film. Brake is a movie that leaves the viewer hanging on for some resolution, an inevitable outcome of salvation or demise. It does, regretfully, mess up in the end. At least, that's how I took it. Predictable to a degree, but more than that lacking the emotional impact the rest of the film builds up to.
Stephen Dorff is the undisputed star of the film, and is on camera very near 100% of the time. I've never been a big fan of his, but he somehow felt perfect for the role. His training with actual Special Forces agents pays off in a big way, as he is entirely believable in his role. The entire film tends to come off as a bit of a performance piece for Mr. Dorff, but the subject matter and situations he finds himself in will no doubt thrill and chill fans of psychological horror.
It's just a shame that all that fast-building dread and tension spills out into such a flat ending. Still, as my first paragraph may have led you to guess, I'd still recommend this movie. The first hour and fifteen minutes are very well done.… Expand
Jul 7, 2013For 90% of this film I would have said absolutely yes. Unfortunately, the other 10% (and you've guessed it, it's the ending) is a ridiculous example of writers trying to be too clever with twists. Imagine sitting through two M. Night Shyamalan style twists, each more damaging to the previous 80 minutes than the last, in the space of the final three minutes.
Up to this point I had greatly enjoyed Brake. I've never really noticed Dorff in any films I've seen him in before but here he is excellent as the hero in the box and gives his all to the performance as he is put through a series of physical and mental trials designed to make him give up the top secret info. Until the ending the plot is clever, fast paced and full of suspense and the writers use sensible plot devices to help move the narrative along without the audience just watching Jeremy wriggle around for 80 minutes. The direction (Gabe Torres) is also sharp and avoids too much darkness (like a car boot really would be by cleverly using the red illumination from the clock to create a tense mood in boot space. Also Brian Tyler provides the score and he doesn't disappoint as usual.
Overall Brake has so many things going for it and is a surprisingly taught thriller for those who enjoy this genre of thrillers, however it will also be damaged by the unnecessary and frankly bonkers ending.… Expand
Aug 4, 2012This IFC Films film works best as a psychological study for students of film, but not so much as an entertainment vehicle for the rest of us. I had to lean on the FF button alot to move it along, and I wasn't really surprised by the two twists near film's end. The film isn't rated but it's definitely PG-13 due to language and violence. Again, I wouldn't recommend this for general viewing but those that are into psych thrillers may have more patience and appreciation for it.… Expand