A Secret Worth Keeping
Whether sweating with Ryan Reynolds as he struggles to get out of a coffin in Buried or with Colin Farrell trapped in a Phone Booth, I canít help feeling their pain. Iím claustrophobic, so films about anyone in a confined space trigger my worst fears. But I watched Brake anyway. Itís a movie about Secret Agent Jeremy Reins, who finds himself held captive inside a moving vehicle during a terrorist attack. And worse, heís in the cramped quarters of a plastic container within the locked trunk of that vehicle.
This involving thriller, starring Stephen Dorff (Somewhere, Cold Creek Manor) as Reins, shows how much emotional and physical torture the agent must face while trying not to reveal a secret of great importance to our nation. Because most of the action occurs inside Reinsí tiny place of capture, I found watching this movie to be quite a challenge. A change of scenery now and then would have helped. Also, I figured out the ending early on -- or did I? Iím still wondering about that.
Fortunately, the always believable Dorff rises to the occasion here with an excellent performance. He convinces us of Reinsí confusion, fear and dedication as he sees numbers counting down the minutes while receiving various terrifying cell-phone calls. Among the callers are his friend Ben (Tom Berenger), a fellow captive named Henry (JR Bourne), his wife Molly (Chyler Leigh), and his captor. A number of dirty tricks are used -- including a swarm of bees (heís allergic to their stings!) and threats regarding Mollyís life -- to make Reinsí give the terrorists the information they need. Our hero stays very busy reacting to whatís happening while attempting to help his friend, wife and fellow captive as much as he can -- and to remain alive himself.
Itís touch and go as the vehicle carrying Reins stops and starts, sirens blare, and bombs are heard exploding nearby. In a movie like this, everything depends on the lead actor and Dorff does not disappoint. He makes us hope Reins will survive without revealing his secret.
I canít tell you if Brake ends happily, of course. But Iím fairly certain you will want this secret agent to succeed after everything heís gone through.
(Released by IFC Films and rated ďRĒ by MPAA.)
For more information about Brake, go to the Internet Movie Data Base or Rotten Tomatoes website.