22 April 1999 | Doctor_Bombay
Sometimes you gotta take it with you.
Seems when a movie starts with a prison break, the story predictably goes in one of two directions. (1) Our protagonist has a big score already planned, and all the resources are at his fingertips. He's upbeat and optimistic. The air of freedom, albeit temporary, smells good. Or, (2) He looks toward a redemptive arc. Probably he finds a good woman in the most unlikely of places, and strives to go, with her, toward a better end. He will meet with some success, only to find a prohibitive obstacle in his path. I mean we can't let a guy escape from prison and get away clean, can we?
In The Break' (USA title) Stephen Rea again does a masterful job of underplaying the character of Sean Dowd, trying option #2 on for size. He breaks out of an Irish prison, then relocates to New York, where he works in an obscure restaurant washing dishes.
The story then follows a rather predictable path, with a somewhat surprising ending. Director Roger Dornhelm does a good job keeping the film on track.
Overall a solid thriller.