Rian Johnson's sophomore effort closely mirrors the story it tells, and not necessarily in the best way: much like the winding con of the titular brothers, it's a film that's constantly faking you out, offering endings that never come and adding layer upon layer to this ultimate con, to the point where it's nearly exhausting. Johnson introduces lots of really emotionally heavy ideas here, each tied to different characters; in this, there's constantly a lack of focus as to what the main theme of the movie is, and that can sometimes soften the emotional blow Johnson is trying to give. These characters are individually well-written, with solid arcs for each and great performances to convey them (the standout being the two ladies, Rachel Weisz's bubbly Penelope and Rinko Kikuchi's mute oddball Bang Bang), but they're all thrown into a cinematic blender that leaves the grand scheme of things feeling jumbled. Johnson delivers harder on the directorial side of things: this is a film brimming with quirky visual humor, very much in line with the works of Wes Anderson and Edgar Wright. And while Johnson fires on all cylinders, it's the kind of humor that constantly elicits chuckles, and never rolls into feeling distracting. As a newcomer to the filmmaking system, Johnson is making a strong name for himself as an imaginative, inventive director just two films in. The Brothers Bloom is consistently entertaining, which is always a good thing, but a tale that needed just a couple more passes to find its true voice to make the step from "good" to "great."