Before this energizing sequence, Brody and co-stars John Malkovich and Rory Culkin laboriously establish their dull stock characters through tenuously related flashbacks about closely guarded truffles, deadbeat dads and stolen goldfish. Malkovich, as a cynical veteran thief, instigates most of the talking: He chides Culkin’s junkie newbie and dispenses fatherly advice to Brody’s cipher-like Everyman.
But there’s one topic that Malkovich’s world-weary character never brings up: the blood-soaked attack dog that’s guarding the stairway to their hideout’s main exit. Thankfully, you don’t even have to remember these disposable protagonists’ names when Brody locks (flimsy) doors, sprints through (bottleneck) corridors and hides in an unlocked school bus to avoid his nameless four-legged nemesis. Instead, enjoy the absurd spectacle of Brody climbing into a hollowed-out piano! Gasp as a computer-generated drop of sweat gives away his location! Laugh with joy as a blood-soaked pooch crashes into the piano like a heat-seeking missile!