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Best of Portland 2009

Review: The Brothers Bloom

Too much nudging and winking
By PETER KEOUGH  |  May 20, 2009
2.5 2.5 Stars

VIDEO: The trailer for The Brothers Bloom

Some have criticized Rian Johnson for being too clever in his follow-up to the overpraised Brick, but I think it's his cuteness that's the problem. Cute as in an opening introduction with overwritten voice-over narration (Ricky Jay) featuring the two brothers as tykes in fedoras and shades pulling off a scam.

Cute as in the two con men, Bloom (Adrien Brody) and Stephen (Mark Ruffalo), now adults and operating with a woman named Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi) who has a thing for explosives. I almost went with the montage of their latest mark, heiress Penelope Stamp (Rachel Weisz), as she shows her skill at the piano, the accordion, and a unicycle, but I balked at the watermelon camera.

The way Stephen's storyboarded schemes parallel the filmmaking process and its questioning of reality and illusion shows worthy ambition, but is the naked steal from The Sting a cute allusion or mere plagiarism? Too much nudging and winking make this Bloom wilt.

Related: Autumn peeves, Review: Push, Review: Friday the 13th (2009), More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Adrien Brody, BRICK, Mark Ruffalo,  More more >
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