Saturday, March 08, 2014

"Brake": A Secret Service agent listens to the progress of an attack inside the trunk of a car, while being forced to cough up all the president's hideaway bunkers (like Mt.Weather, no secret)

I’m not too much into filmmaking in confined spaces, but “Brake” tries to tell the narrative of an attack against the United States from the viewpoint of a Secret Service agent locked inside the trunk of a car. 
He is put in touch with others in the same situation, the first being a State Department employee.  It seems as though some of them, including the agent Jeremy Reins (Stephen Dorff) were just whisked away while going about their business in New York City.

Reins learns (from 911 triangulation) he has been driven to near Baltimore, where his family is, and his wife and kids are nowhere to be found, either.  (Well, soon they are found by the kidnappers.)  I always have an issue when someone’s life is more valuable because he has a wife and kids.  The logical inference is that an childless singleton is suitable for sacrifice if expedient.  (Oh, remember, back in 1962 or so, Kennedy wanted to exempt married men from the draft;  that didn’t hold.)

 The purpose of the plot is to for terrorists to find out where all the bunkers for housing the President of the United States are.  It has been written that a lot of people were taken to Mt. Weather (the High Point Special Facility), in the Blue Ridge, 50 miles from Washington, on 9/11, although President Bush flew around the country and spent part of the day at SAC in Omaha.  It happens that I visited the HPDF location today (International Issues blog). 

Soon the attacks start.  There are two explosions near the CIA at Langley, VA and the George Washington Parkway near Chain Bridge, and then another one near Andrews Air Force Base east of Washington.  Car bombs go off at random locations around Washington.  Of course, the trouble, from the film’s viewpoint, is that it is all hearsay. Nobody has seen this happen.

Toward the end, we see the outside world through cracks in the trunk.  But he doesn’t get outside until 80 minutes into the film.
The official site (IFC) is here.  The tagline is “The only way out is to give in.”  The film can be purchased on YouTube for $12.99 but I rented a Netflix DVD. 

Toward the end, we wonder if it’s an inside job.  Or maybe an exercise.  The very end does not speak well for traditional heterosexual marriage.

A Secret Service agent is supposed to be prepared to sacrifice his life, and his family, for the President. 

“We’ve done a lot of stress tests since 9/11.  It’s preferable to the polygraph.”  The constant clock countdowns get rather silly.   
The DVD has a video of Ryan Tyler recording the rather repetitious music score.  

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