Directed By: Gabe Torres

Starring: Stephen Dorff, Chyler Leigh, JR Bourne, and Tom Berenger

Imagine Die Hard if Bruce Willis was trapped in a glass coffin for an hour and a half and all he had was his wits to battle terrorists.  Oh yeah, and Bruce was neither charismatic nor funny.  Does that sound entertaining? No?  Well neither was Brake.

In Brake, Secret Service agent Jeremy Reins (Stephen Dorff) wakes up in a glass coffin.  Much to his horror, he is being held captive by terrorists in the trunk of a car.  They have captured Reins so that they can obtain information from him regarding the President of the United States and carry out some nefarious attack.  Reins is slowly subjected to all manner of physical torture, including a swarm of bees.  To compound matters, the terrorists have also kidnapped his wife Molly (Chyler Leigh) and are subjecting her to the same torture.  Reins must try to save both their lives with just his wits and willpower as the clock ticks away.

To be fair, Dorff dives into the role of agent Reins.  He portrays the character as earnest and committed to a code of honor and his duty to the President.  Dorff captures the struggle Reins has between his desire to save his and his wife’s lives yet not betray the country and endanger the lives of others.  With that said, Dorff cannot save the overall plot of the movie. 

While the concept is interesting, I feel like I was provided with one piece of a much larger puzzle that I never get the answers to.  As viewers, we are trapped in the trunk of a car with Reins with limited information.  Who are the terrorists?  What is their ultimate goal?  What is the motive of the other players?  And ultimately, why should I care about Reins and his wife?  I finished the movie with a host of unanswered questions and a “you’ve got to be kidding me” expression on my face.  I think there was real potential for the ideas behind the film.  Unfortunately, Brake’s execution was limited by its own too clever plot device and viewers never get out of the glass box.

If you want to see a badass federal agent, check out a season of 24.  Jack Bauer and his adventures are infinitely more entertaining than Brake.