Brake is an 2012 American independant thriller film directed by Gabe Torres, written by Timothy Mannion, and starring Stephen Dorff.
Jeremy Reins is a U.S. Secret Service special agent preparing to be assigned to the presidential detail, is drugged, kidnapped and held captive within a pexiglass box in the cramped, dark trunk of a car. At first Jeremy thinks it is a prank from people he owes money for gambling debts, but he quickly learns that the truth is far more sinister. Jeremy begins to endure mental and physical torture as terrorists attempt to extract information. The information needed is the location of the secret bunkers, codenamed "Roulette", that are used by the president and vice president during a national emergency and switched without notice on random days. The location of the correct bunker is only known by a handful of people at a time. Jeremy is tortured every time the counter hits zero, at one point bees are released into his tank, since he is allergic to bee stings. However, the terrorists give him an Epi-pen injection, saving his life: they need him alive.
The terrorists also kidnap his estranged wife, Molly, and hold her in another trunk. They threaten to kill her if he does not cooperate with them and give them the location of Roulette. Jeremy's only contact is Henry Shaw, another hostage from the State Department that is also locked in a trunk of a car; both hostages have timers in the trunk with them that counts down. The terrorists have left old CB radios in the trunk to allow them to communicate with their hostages as well as allowing Jeremy and Henry to talk to one another. Jeremy attempts to use the two-way radio to pick up the signal of a nearby trucker and ask for help, but the terrorists escape. Through long conversations, Jeremy learns that the cars are actually bombs, and that they are currently in Maryland traveling towards Washington D.C. The car is pulled over by police and a high speed chase ensues but Jeremy is unable to be rescued, since the cop is killed and the terrorists move him into the police car, allowing them to go through traffic easier. Jeremy does notice that the box has been shot, leaving a hole in the glass that injures his leg. After enduring much emotional and mental stress, Jeremy still refuses to give up the location. After his countdown reaches zero, Jeremy's glass box begins to flood with liquid explosives, set to detonate in just seconds. After nearly drowning, Jeremy is pulled out by someone, revealed to be Henry. Desperate and exhausted, Jeremy attacks Henry and takes his pistol, which he uses to keep the terrorists at bay. But something isn't right. He sees a man with a dog whom he thought had been shot earlier. Jeremy realizes that he was never in any danger at all.
Henry tells Jeremy that the whole situation was just an exercise to test whether Jeremy would break or not. Everyone he saw or was in contact with is present along with their radios, which they used to play their parts. Jeremy collapses from stress and his wounds and is placed into an ambulance with Molly. On the way to the hospital Jeremy sees the Washington monument through the window and breathes a sigh of relief. Molly then looks out the window and asks him if this is where the secret bunker was. Jeremy realizes that he has given the location of Roulette away and attempts to backpedal by saying, "It doesn't matter," but it is too late. She handcuffs Jeremy to his gurney and reveals herself as a terrorist along with Henry and the others, who have presumably been paid to betray Jeremy. She is then ordered to kill Jeremy, which she starts to do by placing a mask over his face, which is filled with what is likely a lethal gas, and the movie cuts to black.
- Stephen Dorff as Jeremy Reins
- Chyler Leigh as Molly Reins
- JR Bourne as Henry Shaw
- Tom Berenger as Ben Reynolds
- Pruitt Taylor Vince as Driver (voice)
- Sammy Sheik as Marco (voice)
- Kent Shocknek as News Anchor Jack Stern (voice)
Filming took place in California, primarily North Hollywood, using two Red One cameras. It was shot in 16 days.
Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 44% of 25 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating was 5/10. Metacritic rated it 38/100 based on eleven reviews. Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote that the film exists for its Twilight Zone-style "gotcha" twist ending. Glenn Whipp of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the film's twists are preposterous and negate everything that came before them. Robert Koehler of Variety wrote that the script "leaves audiences feeling played" but Dorff "fully commits" to the role. Overall, the film's first half was praised but many felt the second ending to be unnecessary.