Short Review: The Brothers Bloom (Rian Johnson, 2008)
I was initially attracted to The Brothers Bloom purely because of the cast, featuring three of my favorite performers in Mark Ruffalo (The Kids are All Right), Adrien Brody (The Darjeeling Limited) and Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardner). While this American caper film is uneven at times and often requires us to suspend our disbelief at the quirky events, it is charming and joyously entertaining even though it doesn't quite live up to its ambitious intentions. As the con-artist brothers, Stephen (an always excellent Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrien Brody) are likable and well-cast. Deciding to attempt one last job together after some time apart, they target a wealthy socially-isolated heiress named Penelope (Rachel Weisz), inviting her aboard their boat leaving the next day to Greece. Posing as antique smugglers, Penelope becomes enchanted by their free spirit, wishing to participate in their adventures unaware that the schemes are staged. Rinko Kikuchi's performance as Stephen's assistant Bang Bang is the most amusing. The shooting locations are beautiful (especially in Prague and Greece), and it features a fine soundtrack and score. The plot is engaging and fueled by the fine performances. There are a lot of twists throughout to keep viewers guessing, and there are several red herrings and dummy conclusions. Despite being somewhat incomprehensible, the final reveal really hits the mark. Guaranteed fun, it's definitely not a bad way to spend a couple of hours.