The Brothers Bloom

Rated 3.0

In The Brothers Bloom, writer-director Rian Johnson does the same thing with the con-man trope that he did with the detective genre in Brick, fashioning a lively revision that’s ultimately too cutesy-clever to embrace. Mark Ruffalo and Adrien Brody play brothers whose early experiments in bilking their playground peers leads to a self-styled life as international “gentleman thieves.” Brody plays the younger brother Bloom, always the lead actor/puppet in his brother Stephen’s elaborate, psychologically charged schemes. Bloom’s lifelong immersion in fictional lives has caused a crisis of identity, and the situation is further complicated by the brothers’ latest mark, a beautiful (but wacky!) heiress played by Rachel Weisz. The Brothers Bloom has wit and visual energy, and the performers (including Rinko Kikuchi from Babel) are charming, but the characters never become more than the sum of their quirks.