Brake (BLU-RAY)


On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Running Time: 
91 minutes

A man awakes in a box in the trunk of a car, and it only gets worse from there. For years after Die Hard we got many clones - Under Siege "Die Hard on a Boat", Speed "Die Hard on a Bus" - but this movie takes it to an extreme, combines it with the current trend of the "contained thriller", and gives us "Die Hard in the Trunk of a Car". This is Brake, and this is a better movie than I thought it would be.

Stephen Dorff plays Jeremy Reins, a man with gambling debts who believes he has been kidnapped by a bookie for the money he owes. He swears he was on his way to pay, or to make arrangement to pay, but now he's in the trunk of a car. More specifically, he's in a clear strong box in the trunk of a car. There is a timer, and it counts down, and every time it reaches 0 something happens, something changes. But he discovers rather quickly that the people who have him aren't his bookie, but instead simply want him to answer a question: The location of the President's secret bunker.

You see, Jeremy is a Secret Service agent and it turns out that the President has a series of bunkers he can go to in case of an emergency, and only a set number of people outside of the President's own protection detail know which one is up in the rotation, called Roulette. Terrorists, it seems, are after the President, and have decided that the best way to get him will be to trigger an event that causes him to run for his bunker and to have placed themselves in his path, but to do so, they need that location.

I found the film utterly fascinating to watch unfold. Yes, it has some silly bits, but even the best movies usually do. It's the strength of the rest of the film that allows you to forgive it its flaws.

The Blu-ray isn't too shabby either. There is a nice "Making Of" featurette that shows how they filmed in the trunk of a car and the challenges they overcame. It also delves into the construction of the movie's score, which is superb, and many other areas. There is also a feature commentary with the director that provides many insights into the work behind the scenes on Brake but most of the best bits are already in the featurette.

The film exceeded my expectations at every turn. Brake will make a fine addition to my movie library.

Review by Jason Pace
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