So there's that.
In 2005, director Rian Johnson made his debut film, Brick, which was overcomplicated and slightly self-rectally-ascending but undeniably interesting. At least, interesting enough to get The Incredible Suit curious about his follow-up, The Brothers Bloom. What with Bloom screening at the 2008 London Film Festival, I didn't expect to have to wait long for a wider release. I was wrong:
Was it worth the wait? Of course not. The Brothers Bloom isn't dreadful, but it is quite rubbish. The cast fail to make likeable any of the characters from the GCSE-standard script, and after the stylish noir of Brick, the boring direction just makes you feel cheated. There's some snappy editing which jolts you awake every now and again but it's not enough to stop you drooling into your popcorn after half an hour or so.
The Brothers Bloom's biggest problem is that it's a comedy about con artists, which immediately brings to mind The Sting and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (both of which are referenced here), so it's only ever going to be compared to its overbearingly better predecessors. And when the bluffs, double-bluffs and double-reverse-counterbluffs you're expecting never arrive (apart from a nonsensical and unengaging final twist), you just feel, well, conned.
Furthermore, while foregrounding its own inadequacies by referring back to better films, you also can't help but think of the other stuff the cast have done which is so much better. E, and indeed, G:
Nora Zehetner, better in Brick
Rinko Kikuchi, better in this photo:
And Adrien Brody, who will never, ever do anything in the rest of his career as planet-shatteringly amazing as this:
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