4/25/2012

"Caught, by a secret"

Title: Brake
Year: 2012
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Director: Gabe Torres
Writer: Timmothy Mannion
Runtime: 92min
Cast: Stephen Dorff, Chyler Leigh, JR Bourne, Tom Berenger
Produc.: Walking West Entertainment, La Costa Production

In Brake, Jeremy Reins (Stephen Dorff) suddenly awakens to realize that he has been trapped in a strange glass box, illuminated by a red light, and that, no matter where he sees, everything is completely dark and unknown. Jeremy does not know his location on the map or how he got there.
Two years ago I was able to see Buried (2010), from spanish director Rodrigo Cortes and starring Ryan Reynolds. In it, Reynolds was Paul Conroy, an innocent citizen who, in need of money had taken the truck driver job in Iraqi territory to transport soldiers, not involving this him in the battle. Still, things had come to go wrong and now he awoke in a wooden coffin, who knows where, with a cell phone as his only resource.
Coming now to the present, yesterday I could enjoy myself with another very similar proposal, but for my taste, far superior in a plot level. In Brake, Stephen Dorff has a wider range of tools, and while his image is what dominates the screen in 99% of the time, the action, suspense and drama that are built around him are such that one has no time to get bored.
Initially, the concept is exactly the same as in its predecessor. A guy who has been locked in a small space and tries to escape, and a language presented under the only alternative of showing the character and his claustrophobic prison from all the possible angles of interest. Something nothing new by now, if we think about Phone Booth (2002) or 127 hours (2010). However, unlike its more direct predecessor, here the rhythms are much better achieved and no scene becomes too slow. Every event that occurs around somehow affects inside the box, so that we know that Jeremy, even from his enclosure, also suffers from the troubles out there. Even when there is a gunfight, a stray bullet passess through the glass and hits him in one leg.
One may find some resemblance to any of the installments of the popular horror franchise Saw (2004), although in this case, the use of the clock is never out of place either. As soon as Jeremy wakes up, he immediately realizes about the existence of a counter, located outside the windows, just above him. And then he finds, located next to him (but, on his side) a radio with an intercom. It will not be dificult for him to see that, whenever the numerical count reaches zero means that something else is going to happen, and that with every countdown, new communication possibilities are at his extent. What Jeremy has to do is to find a good frequency and talk to the right person, if he wants to get out alive. Meanwhile, he will have to discern why they are torturing him like his.
At one point, Jeremy gets the answer to his biggest question, but, this does not mean that things would stop getting more complicated, as he faces certain obstacles which prevent him from fulfilling with what he has been asked to.
Finally, and speaking of the end, I can only say that I have rarely seen anything like it. When one is expecting for something to occur and it ends up going the other way around, more surprising and original, is when one more realizes about the value of a good plot.

My rating: 8/10


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