One thing a Secret Service Agent Jeremy Reins (Stephen Dorff) did not expect – is to wake up in a trunk of a car that day. But, since he does, it is time to start thinking about what went wrong the previous night.
It is a lot worse though – Reins realizes that the trunk is locked dead, and he has been put into a glass cage of some sort that hardly allows him to move. At first, Reins believes he’s being tortured because of his debts, yet it turns out to be much more than that.
After the failed attempts to get out of the cage and the trunk, Reins finds a radio in the cage, and he manages to connect to a guy named Henry (JR Bourne), who is also working for the government.
It doesn’t take long for them to realize they both are in the same situation – that just might be a part of a grand terrorist scheme to murder the U.S. president.
In just a few hours in that locked trunk, Reins will realize who his friends are, how betrayed him, and how hard it is to oppose both mental and psychological torture, viciously trying to protect the information he sworn to keep secret.
“Brake” borrows a lot of elements from “Buried”, which was released two years before, and despite being repetitive to some viewers, it still manages to keep you entertained, with minimum amount of action.
By the way, both “Brake” and “Buried” were directed by people of non-US origin. “Brake” director Gabe Torres although born in NY, is a son of Cuban immigrants, and the director of “Buried” Rodrigo Cortez was born in Spain.
Stephen Dorff’s character in “Brake” is pretty much the only one we see throughout the whole film, who is desperately trying to stay alive and focused in this tough situation.
Dorff is in ways similar to Ray Liotta and Robert De Niro, who seem uninteresting and weak when they portray characters that don’t burst with anger and rage every 10 minutes.
Brilliantly played by Dorff, the character of Jeremy Reins gets more and more depressed, and intense, as the story develops, balancing on a thin line of self-control. In contrast, Ryan Reynold’s character in “Buried” was less interesting to watch.
As mentioned before, while “Brake” does have a few familiar faces (JR Bourne, Tom Berenger), they all appear in the end of the film, forcing a viewer to “stay in the trunk” with Stephen Dorff’s character, to experience all that he’s going through. And he is going through a lot – betrayal, scares, pain, blackmail, and so on.
The film works because every time you think “there’s nothing more he can do, time to die” – something comes up, that forces Reins to start using his brains again, instead of giving in.
And while the ending of the film raised some eyebrows, “Brake” is definitely recommended for viewing at least once. You won’t fall asleep.
BZFILM SCALE: 7/10
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