20 July 2013 | Marc_Action
Dorff - One Man Show
Make no mistake about it, Stephen Dorff owns this film. He did such an excellent job. Since he plays the only visible character for about 93% of the film, I can confidently say it's worth a watch despite the glaring flaws of the film. He's just that entertaining here.
First off, I've never seen Buried, so my review will be unbiased in regards to that film - just keep that in mind. Overall, I thought the concept of Brake was pretty clever: Secret Service agent gets kidnapped; locked in the trunk of a constantly moving automobile by a group of mysterious terrorists; physically and mentally tortured by unconventional methods in order for them to get what they want. (As if any method of torture is conventional.) Will his character break (not BRAKE)? What exactly do the terrorists want and who are they? Will everything go according to plan along the way? You'll have to watch to find out.
A lot of people have complained about the ending (or multiple endings) and the ability to predict some of the plot twists, like, before the prologue. (No, just kidding.) Seriously, it was way too easy figuring this movie out. That said, I still enjoyed it. Listen, with a plot of this nature there are only a few ways this could have ended - either the terrorist will get what they want out of agent Jeremy Reines (Dorff) or they won't. Everything in between is just a waiting game of HOW they intend to get it out of him, WHAT it is they want, and IF Dorff's character will make it out alive or not. When it comes down to it, the ending (or multiple endings) does provide you with the answers. What more do you want people?!
Indeed, the plot is more than a bit far-fetched and I couldn't help but wonder why in the heck would anyone go through this much trouble to get something when there certainly were simpler (and probably more effective) methods to get the job done. I don't know, maybe they could have injected him with a truth serum or something. But then if that happened this wouldn't be called Brake; it'd be an entirely different movie.
There are some other issues. There were a few revelations that the writer, Timothy Mannion, intended to be relevant towards the climax of the film but he came up short big time. They made no sense in context to what had happened earlier in the film and added no value to the outcome of the film. Also, for Reines to be such a highly trained and alert Secret Service agent, he was often too naive in certain circumstances when even Stevie Wonder would have seen the writing on the wall. No fault of Dorff's though, as once again, this is more a reflection of poor writing than anything else.
Dorff was brilliant! That's why despite a cop out ending, sloppy writing, and plot elements so implausible that even M. Night Shyamalan would shake his head in shame, I still can't give it less than 7 stars. And that says a lot about Stephen's performance.