Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Brothers Bloom: Grade C

The Brothers Bloom
Adrian Brody, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz, Rinko Kikuchi; Writer-Director Rian Johnson.

Brody and Ruffalo are brothers and con men in New Jersey. Brody wants out, but Ruffalo talks him into one last job, a complex hustle of a rich heiress (Weisz) that takes the trio to Paris, Prague (if I recall), someplace in Mexico, and other places. The McGuffin is a rare medieval book worth millions. Predictably, Brody falls in love with the mark and the job goes bad. Or does it? Maybe that was all part of the con. Maybe Brody is being played by Ruffalo. Or maybe Weisz is actually not the mark but is in on the con. By the end of the movie it is impossible to tell what is real and what is the con, which is how Brody’s character feels. So I guess that is tricky. What put me off though (besides Brody’s excruciatingly stiff acting), is the wacky screenwriting. Why was it necessary to have Weisz’s character demonstrate that she could juggle chain saws while riding a unicycle? Is that funny? It has nothing to do with anything. There are many such campy, tongue in cheek scenes that don’t make any sense and disrupt the story. Maybe I’m too old to understand the humor. Ruffalo gives a good performance, and Weisz is beautiful. Locations are attractive, but overall, the story was lacking in tension, not believable, and unnecessarily complex. Characters were less than two-dimensional, if that is possible. They were actually caricatures of characters. The movie is worth a mindless kill of two hours if your expectations are low.

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