Thursday, May 17, 2012

Brake (2012)

Directed by: Gabe Torres
Starring: Stephen Dorff, Chyler Leigh, Tom Berenger

What appears to be a random kidnapping, turns into so much more in Gabe Torres' latest crime thriller, Brake. Jeremy Reins (Dorff) wakes up in a large plexiglass box, and locked inside the trunk of a car. The box has a neon clock-timer at the top of it that keeps counting down time. The questions start from the onset: Who is Jeremy? Moreover, why is he being kidnapped? Without giving away too much of the plot, it turns out that Jeremy is a Special Agent in the US Secret Service. Agent Reins has been kidnapped by terrorists who want an answer to a question that only he knows the answer to. He is then driven from location to location and the stress of his situation increases as his captors keep torturing and pressing him to give up the answer to their question.  Other than the ending, the majority of the film (and I mean just about all of it) is a lone performance by Stephen Dorff. The rest of the characters in the plot are introduced through their voices on a cell phone and CB radio that are in the trunk.

The narrative and the character has striking similarities to Ryan Reynolds and his role in Buried (2010.) As a matter of fact, the lone-actor trapped in some sort of claustrophobic predicament has almost become a whole new genre of in point: James Franco in 127 hours (2010) and Adrien Brody in Wrecked (2010.) Although, unlike those films Franco and Brody weren't being held hostage, but the narrative of the aforementioned films all centered on a solo character. However, in this film Dorff manages to pull off the "one-man play" rather well by keeping the audience engaged in what is happening to him; not an easy task since he is the only character in the dialogue of the film.  The climactic twist in the plot at the end will dispel any preconceived notion that the viewer has on how the film was going to end.

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