Year of release: 2008
Director: Rian Johnson
Stars: Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz, Rinko Kikuchi, Robbie Coltrane, Maximilian Schell, Ricky Jay, Zachary Gordon, Max Records
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Romance
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5
Synopsis:Rian Johnson's second film following the great "Brick" follows the life of two brothers who excel as con artists, Bloom and Stephen. Stephen the older has always devised the tricks and Bloom has always been dragged along. Bloom is sensitive and shy, always avoiding conflict. He wants out of the scam business. When Stephen devises a way of scamming a millionaire heiress of some money, Bloom embarks along, but ends falling in love with the lovely and talented Penelope. When Bloom tries to shed his con artist skin, Stephen devises one last scam to send them all off, with unexpected results. Rian Johnson's film is filled with clever references and visual notes that indicate that his universe has a lot more stories to showcase. However this film in particular feels like the story was barely approached. Where "Brick" took it's time developing the story and the characters, "The Brothers Bloom" feels disjointed and not sufficiently invested. Rachel Weisz's character Penelope, who supposedly is a catalyst for Bloom with her quirky talents and irreverence, ends up coming across as an idiot savant. What is so interesting about the film is the relationships between the brothers and that alone could have been far more rewarding that intersecting it with the romance component. The actors are wonderful, with particular highlights for Mark Ruffalo, Adrien Brody and Rachel Weisz. For them alone the film is worth checking. Rian Johnson is definitely a talent to follow, but this is a medium effort.