Hey folks, Valkor here. December 2010, I got the chance to experience an amazing, suspenseful ride in the form of a film called Buried starring one Ryan Reynolds. My thoughts on that film "it's probably the most intense 90 minutes you'll ever sit through, with an amazing performance by Ryan Reynolds". Here we are in 2012 and I've just sat through another claustrophobic film called "Brake" starring Stephen Dorff. Both films have single word titles and both films features a guy trapped in a box. But only one of these films will come out on top and the other gets tossed on the pile "90 plus minutes I'll never get back". And I think it's obvious which film I'm talking about. Major spoilers ahead!
In Brake Stephen Dorff plays secret service agent Jeremy Reins, who suddenly wakes up and finds himself locked in a box, trapped in a trunk of a vehicle. How he got there and why is unknown at the start. But the first clue he finds is a CB radio, which he uses to communicate with another person who is in the very same predicament. Jeremy is able to use his training to gather his whereabouts and communicate with the outside to learn that the whole town has gone to hell – bombs are blowing up everywhere. So what's the situation? Well it would appear that Jeremy has information to the location of the President's secret bunker, if ever the country goes to hell in a hand basket. The kidnappers want that info and they'll do anything and I mean anything to get it.
Normally with such films I won't reveal the twist, because Brake has one doozy of a twist. But this film – this film right here… yea you wanna know before going in. After all is said and done and after Jeremy is raced through the city of Washington, bounced around in a back of a moving car, his wife is kidnapped, and there's no chance of finding him; after his box fills up with some kind of liquid explosive, its revealed that the whole thing was a training exercise to test his loyalty. Round of applause, everyone goes home, we've got our happy ending...
...but then this happens.
Jeremy reveals the location of the secret bunker to his "wife" and as it turns out, the whole thing wasn't a training exercise after all and the bad guys really got what they want.
I was lovin "Brake" until the end – I mean shit was intense; not extremely intense overall but there were a few edge of your seat moments scattered throughout. It's a straightforward thriller, with a few twists and turns that races you through its 90 minute run time and holds your attention until the big reveal. What keeps up teh intensity are the choices and sacrifices that Jeremy had to make… sweet jeebus! The dude really knows how to hang on to a secret (or does he…). Big ups to Dorff who put on one hell of a performance; the last film I actually enjoyed his work was in "Blade". I know he's done work since then, but nothing that was any interest to me. Now I may have to back catalogue a few of those films and see what I might have been missing.
While Brake does have some intense moments, it falls kinda flat. Mid way through, I had a feeling the whole thing was some sort of training exercise and I was kinda sad to see I was right. If the film had ended there, maybe it wouldn't be so bad, but then you add insult to injury by revealing that it wasn't an exercise after all. The dude kept his secret throughout the entire film and in one moment of weakness, he just blurts out to his wife "oh hey yeah the bunker is over there". OK he doesn't say it exactly like that but still, the film didn't need to go there. God damnit!!!
Bees!! Why did it have to be bees!!
Brake is available now on Amazon Instant Video as well as Netflix. While the film is worth at least one sit through, you're better off picking up Buried, which is a much better film. So out of TOV 5 stars, I give Brake a 2.5. I've said it before and I'll say it again… I've sat through worse.