Tuesday, 23 February 2010


Available on DVD and Blu-ray March 18
Roadshow Entertainment

The brothers of the title, Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrien Brody), have been conning people since early childhood when they discovered that they could get what they want by tricking people into thinking they got what they wanted. The best con? When everyone involved is happy.

Twenty or so years later, the brothers are still in the conning business and they've gone global. But Bloom has grown tired of their exploits; he wants to experience an 'unscripted life', one not mapped out in detail by older brother Stephen as part of some scam. But Stephen has happened upon another mark, one that would see them – including literally silent partner, Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi) – retire comfortably.

The mark is Penelope, an orphaned, lonely heiress or, as Bloom observes, an eccentric, shut-in rich bitch. But Penelope, as played by Rachel Weisz, is anything but a bitch. She's a breath of fresh air who lights up both the film and Bloom. Penelope accompanies the trio to Greece, believing them to be antique dealers and that's where the troubles begin, for them and for us.

Director Rian Johnson's script plays one too many cons so that it finally cons itself into believing it's having fun, certainly more fun than the viewer is having. It's a sin Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's trilogy was guilty of. I was with the Brothers Bloom (BTW is Bloom their surname? Bloom Bloom? Is the title itself a con?) up to a point, but it's when they start faking cons (or are they?) within real cons that I became frustrated and, I'll admit it, a tad lost. Perhaps that's where the commentary by Johnson comes into its own.

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