The Brothers Bloom Rian Johnson

The Brothers Bloom Rian Johnson
Extending his playful cinematic style, burgeoning young auteur Rian Johnson tries his hand at a sentimental con game for his sophomore major feature. Adrian Brody and Mark Ruffalo star as two brothers, con artists from childhood. Conning started as a way for elder brother Stephen to help his younger sibling find the courage to talk to girls and quickly grew into their entire lifestyle. As adults, the younger Bloom wants out, yearning for "an unwritten life." Convinced to play one last role as the lead in Stephen's elaborately planned cons, Bloom sets into motion an encounter with wealthy, eccentric shut-in Penelope Stamp, portrayed with grace-grounded quirks by Rachel Weisz. The plot thickens and bends before breaking under the weight of its length and oversaturated sentiment. Most of the film is a whimsically fun ride but it's ultimately strangely unfulfilling, partly due to the potential The Brothers Bloom exudes and the expectations from Johnson's previous triumph. The Brothers Bloom is an almost 180 degree turn from the densely verbose and splendidly visceral crime noir of Brick. An opening bit of trickery immediately toys with audience expectations and should act as a major hint that attention will be rewarded, because everything is part of the master plan. This notion is swiftly reinforced when the Blooms explain during a wrap party for the film's first con that they never use the same cast twice, all while the camera pans around the room, revealing many familiar faces from Brick. Johnson manages to be almost too clever for his own good when he doesn't need to be ― although the cat on crutches scene alone is worth seeing the movie for ― and not clever enough to satisfy expectations in a grander sense. The Brothers Bloom twists itself into numbness and Johnson seems to acknowledge some uncertainties of the film's mechanics in the feature commentary track. Deleted scenes with commentary are included, as well as a detailed storyboard-to-screen feature and a "Behind the Scenes" that's actually 100-percent behind-the-scenes for a change. (E1)