The problem I have with some movies about con men is it’s difficult to get a rhythm going. A good con should be like a good magic show – you look one way while the trick is being set up. Unfortunately as a viewer you don’t get the usual cues to let you know when the movie has hit the climax, and when the story is about to wrap up. In The Brothers Bloom there is a lot of preparation, but not a lot of magic. All of the performances are better than good, but I found myself struggling to pay attention. The initial introduction to the brothers as children was the most entertaining part of the film, and I kept waiting for it to recapture the eccentric energy from the first act.
The standout performance was delivered by Rinko Kikuchi as Bang Bang, the taciturn demolitions expert. Her character silently observed the story along with us, and although she was placed in the background her performance pulled my focus to her whenever she was in a scene. I wish we could have another version of this film from her perspective.