Monday 4 October 2010


Rian Johnson's follow-up to Brick is now out on DVD and Blu-Ray. Watch the trailer and find out more, after the jump...

Bloom (Adrien Brody) and Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) are con men. From a young age they've been on their own and had to care for each other, which often involves taking large sums of money from an unsuspecting mark. Bloom starts to feel burnt out by the process of taking from strangers so sets off on his own to try and start a new life, but it isn't long before Stephen catches up with him with the proposal of one last hit; the beautiful Penelope (Rachel Weisz). Bloom can't help but be intrigued by this kooky heiress, who soon finds herself part of Stephen's grander schemes to make his fortune.

Rian Johnson made a big splash with 2005's stylish Brick, the tale of a junior sleuth operating within the lawless society of his high school. Anticipation was high about what his next project would be, and there were a few surprised looks in his direction when he chose to expand away from the detective genre to this globetrotting adventure. Already known as a stylish and original director, Johnson does seem to have borrowed some stylistic elements from the world of Wes Anderson, with the sharply dressed siblings acting too cool for school. This is just a knee jerk observation though, as I'm sure Johnson is just fleshing out his own world beyond the confines of high school fashion. The brothers are a lot warmer and instantly likeable than any characters from Wes Anderson's world, and he has never been able to create a female character as complex and rich as Penelope.

Rachel Weisz is captivating as the curious oddball Penelope, never as clueless as everyone thinks she is. She has lived her life as a reclusive shut-in collecting meaningless hobbies, but now through Bloom she has a hobby that could add purpose to her life. She doesn't care about the money she has, it's the adventure she wants, but when she moves over from being the mark to a part of the team, Stephen can't help but be blinded by her wealth.

The brothers are complicated and contrasting figures; Bloom the gentle procrastinator and Stephen always looking for his angle on the situation. He maps out elaborate hoaxes that even when they fail, offer some reward for him and his younger brother. Never are they Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, more charmers who could tear down your life and make you happy about it.

As for the brothers, Adrien Brody as Bloom is a relatable lead who just wants to live an unwritten life; something that his brother has always done for him. As Stephen, Mark Ruffalo makes for a charming bastard. As he states in the film "I have at various points in my life sold sand to an arab and ice to an eskimo", and you can thoroughly believe him. He is an addict though, and needs Bloom to continue his lifestyle. Rinko Kikuchi as explosives expert Bang-Bang also achieves a lot of screen presence with little dialogue.

Although not as enjoyable as the gumshoe drama of Brick, there are double crossings and puzzles to be solved here which come the climax do leave you with one question. Can you kid a kidder?


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