Grim Irony Undermines Heroic Effort
Release Date: March 23, 2012
Starring: Stephen Dorff, Chyler Leigh,
Tom Berenger, JR Bourne, Bobby
Tamberlin, Kali Rocha, King
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 92 minutes
Distributor: IFC Films
Director: Gabe Torres
Executive Producer: Robert G. Davis, Stephen
Dorff, Ryan Ross, Walter Zuck
Producer: Andrew Hilton, Chyler Leigh,
Gabe Torres, James Walker,
Writer: Timothy Mannion
Address Comments To:Jonathan Sehring, President, IFC Films/IFC Entertainment
Joshua Sapan, President/CEO, Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
(Independent Film Channel/IFC Films/IFC First Take/AMC/WE)
11 Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 324-8500
The plot of BRAKE is simple. Jeremy, a Secret Service agent, wakes up inside a car trunk he believes is rigged to explode. Jeremy desperately tries to figure out what is happening to him amid one perilous threat after another. Meanwhile, his car swerves, speeds, and occasionally bangs into other vehicles. Also, a shooting incident involves bullets flying all around him. Even wild bees swarm around him after being funneled into the trunk. Then, he watches a man get shot dead while trying to release him. Finally, he starts to panic as he appears about to drown.
[SPOILER ALERT] Jeremy believes other Secret Service agents have saved him. He shows surprise when he apparently learns that he’s actually passed a trust exercise and will now be promoted to protecting the president. However, an illogical and grim twist in the last five minutes nearly ruins the movie. Also, Jeremy’s earlier survival goes all for naught.
BRAKE makes the most of its limited, claustrophobic setting, and apparently limited budget. It provides plenty of thrills for the space. Dorff makes the most of his rare chance to play a good guy. This energizes his performance, making his character easy to cheer. However, the final twist is not only impossible; but, it also ends the movie on an unnecessarily grim, tragically ironic note that probably will disappoint viewers. Overlooking the final five minutes or less, however, the movie has some rewarding moments, especially for action fans, but only up to a point. Thus, BRAKE contains significant spurts of strong foul language. That, and the disappointing downbeat ending, warrant extreme caution.
BRAKE is expertly shot and paced, with a good performance by Stephen Dorff. Viewers will identify with Stephen’s heroic character. However, all the heroic efforts go for naught at the very end. They are undermined by an unnecessarily grim, tragically ironic twist in the final five minutes. Overlooking the final five minutes or less, the movie has some rewarding moments, especially for action fans, but only up to a point. Also, BRAKE also contains significant spurts of strong foul language. That, and the disappointing downbeat ending, warrant extreme caution.