|THE BROTHERS BLOOM (director/writer: Rian Johnson; cinematographer: Steve Yedlin; editor: Gabriel Wrye; music: Nathan Johnson; cast: Rachel Weisz (Penelope), Adrien Brody (Bloom), Mark Ruffalo (Stephen), Rinko Kikuchi (Bang Bang), Maximilian Schell (Diamond Dog), Robbie Coltrane (Melville), Ricky Jay (Narrator); Runtime: 113; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Ram Bergman/James D. Stern; Summit Entertainment; 2008)|
|"A quirky film that never quite fully
by Dennis Schwartz
Writer/director Rian Johnson ("Looper"/"Star
Wars: Episode IX"/"Brick") presents
a quirky film that never quite fully satisfied me.
It's set in the studio and on location in places like
Montenegro, Prague, Mexico, St. Petersburg, and
on a luxury steamer crossing the Atlantic.
suit-wearing con men brothers, the older Stephen (Mark Ruffalo)
and the passive younger brother Bloom (Adrien
Brody), were raised to be grifters.
Things take a different turn after 25 years when the
younger sibling (with no given first name) plans to go
legit. The older sibling Stephen convinces him to try
one last rewarding swindle before calling it quits. An
elaborate scheme is planned to steal the wealth of the
New Jersey eccentric millionaire heiress Penelope (Rachel
Weisz). Such wealth is hard to refuse and
the offer is accepted by Bloom, who yearns to live a
happy and stress-free life.
film has fast legs as the con is set in motion by
stealing an antiquarian book and the viewer
then must try to keep up with the twisty grift as it
gets more elaborate with colorful characters coming
the mute Japanese named Ban-Bang) and many ruses
are slipped in. Complications arise when our boy Bloom
falls madly in love with the pretty, bubbly and
vulnerable mark. Before things come to fruition, the
film dies from obnoxious fumes and disappoints with a
crappy sentimental ending that took the air out of it.
Nevertheless there's some clever puns for fans of the con man genre and a silly routine over a whiskey drinking camel. Those with a strong stomach for Wes Anderson knock-off films should be attracted to such a caper pic.
REVIEWED ON 1/26/2016 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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