Sunday, 7 July 2013

FILM: Brake (6/10)

Why did I watch it?
I had never heard of Brake until it arrived on Sky Premiere recently. I gave it a spin because of the plot, which sounded intriguing and similar in a way to largely single location films like 127 Hours, Saw and Phone Booth, all of which I enjoyed.

What's it all about?
Secret Service Agent Jeremy Reins (Stephen Dorff) wakes up trapped inside a glass box inside a car boot. All he has for company is an old radio and the illuminated display of clock counting down.

Should you watch it?
For 90% of this film I would have said absolutely yes. Unfortunately, the other 10% (and you've guessed it, it's the ending) is a ridiculous example of writers trying to be too clever with twists. Imagine sitting through two M. Night Shyamalan style twists, each more damaging to the previous 80 minutes than the last, in the space of the final three minutes.

Up to this point I had greatly enjoyed Brake. I've never really noticed Dorff in any films I've seen him in before but here he is excellent as the hero in the box and gives his all to the performance as he is put through a series of physical and mental trials designed to make him give up the top secret info. Until the ending the plot is clever, fast paced and full of suspense and the writers use sensible plot devices to help move the narrative along without the audience just watching Jeremy wriggle around for 80 minutes. The direction (Gabe Torres) is also sharp and avoids too much darkness (like a car boot really would be !) by cleverly using the red illumination from the clock to create a tense mood in boot space. Also Brian Tyler provides the score and he doesn't disappoint as usual.

"Do you do delivery?"
Overall Brake has so many things going for it and is a surprisingly taught thriller for those who enjoy this genre of thrillers, however it will also be damaged by the unnecessary and frankly bonkers ending.


  1. Hmmm this is the first I have heard of this one. what is Sky Premiere? I have not heard of that, is it some sort of streaming service?

    1. Sky is a premium UK TV network that has various channels for entertainment, sport and movies. The Premiere channel runs the newest films available to Sky and these are usually around 9 months behind cinema releases. I'm a slave to the Sky Atlantic channel, this shows most of the best US TV shows and exclusively everything HBO in the UK.

      You should Brake out and see what you think!