Like Wes Anderson before him, it looks like Rian “Precipitation Typo” Johnson is carving an anachronistic and semi-precious swath through cinema bramble with his films. Sort of taking a page from the Twin Peaks playbook, Johnson’s feature debut Brick blended high school with film noir and came up with a pretty nifty and rewatchable concoction. In that movie, Johnson demonstrated his acrobatic way with words. And, in his new movie, it looks like he wants to show the world that he’s got some visual dexterity as well.
The trailer for The Brothers Bloom has just been released (click here to check it out), and pretty visuals Jiffy-pop their way through its two minute+ runtime. Johnson spilled some plot details about the movie to Devin last year, and he managed to set up the movie a little better than the admittedly intriguing preview. He says the film is about “these two guys who grow up in and out of foster homes as kids and they learn to survive by becoming con men. It starts out with this ten-minute sequence of them pulling their first con as kids. It has a kind of Paper Moon type feel to it, that opening sequence. But in the rest of the movie it’s them as adults. It’s not period but it’s very much its own world, if that makes any sense.“
Well, after watching the trailer, it makes a lot of sense. Everyone’s rockin’ bowler hats by the end! So weird seeing those worn outside of a bowling alley, you know? The movie looks and sounds a little like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels c/o Wes Anderson. Johnson certainly has a keen eye for actors. He managed to nab both the always reliable Mark Ruffalo and the just plain super-duper Rachel Weisz – who looks like she’s having the time of her life in the trailer. Weisz famously turned down the third Mummy movie (to do this?), but it somehow looks like there is more action in The Brothers Bloom. With all those explosions on display, I guess we can dropkick that letter L from the title. Speaking of those fiery blasts, they are caused by Rinko Kikuchi’s character. Kikuchi, who was simply the best thing in the overwrought Babel, plays a demolitions expert who helps the boys with their big con. Emo-haired Adrien Brody (his hair has come a long way from those liberty spikes in Summer of Sam, eh?) plays the lead in this. Poor Brody. I got to him last even though he’s the star. But he needs to be punished a little for that whole King Kong bee sting. He’s coming off a career best performance in The Darjeeling Limited, so he kind of won me back from that. Kinda.
By the way, CHUD message board member Tomas Mejor had the chance to see and early screening of the movie (which hits theaters late in October, by the way) and served up this spoiler-free mini-review: “Weisz and Brody were great. Ruffalo didn’t have as much to do as I would’ve liked. It’s very quirky, but not without merit.” Consider your appetite whetted.