Brick: a Detective movie by Rian Johnson

I admit I love a good Noir film. Sit me down and give me some across the tracks hero, a        stunning fem fatale and boat load of intrigue and I’m hooked. Dropping names like “The Big Sleep“, “The Maltese Falcon” and “Dark Passage” would put anyone on the right track of  finding great and well-known noir films to sink their teeth into. However, “Brick” did not get the  popular attention I think it deserves, and if any movie has the capability and the moxy to become  a cult noir classic, it is this movie.

Brick is also interesting because it takes a story style that was popular in the 1940’s and  modernizes it to a more present day atmosphere without killing any of the style’s architecture or  altering the classic and well-loved archetypes of the genre. The movie takes place in your  average mid-west high school and focuses on the path of Brendan Frye, a kid on the out skirts of  popular school society, but who has an ear and a finger on all the different clicks that make up  the culture of high school. The central hub of the story lies in the mysterious death of his former  girl friend. As he goes off the high school “grid” to find out her story and learn who is  responsible he ends up taking us all on a dark trail of deception and half-truths that keep us  wondering who’s side is the right side, who can you trust, and finally what lengths does  someone go for lost love?

With out a doubt I am a fan of the language used in this movie, like its’ genre has always  given us, this movie is rifled with turns of phrase and jargon that paints the gritty, bluff them or  beat them, life on a pin style of this movie better than any set designer could hope to capture.  Listening to this movie is more than being entertained by the story, which is good enough to  keep you glued, but also about listening to an even flow of words that mix and mesh and force  your mind to really think about some of the terms used in order to really grab hold of the  situation.

The characters make up a gallery of interesting, multi-layered, and hard-boiled  individuals so enjoyable and convincing that you give high praise to the casting director Shannon Makhanian, also responsible for Hatchet and The Brothers Bloom, for assigning such excellent young actors to play the parts. From Joseph Gordon-Levitt (recently starring in (500) Days of Summer) who plays our lonesome hero Brendan, to the features fem fatale Laura, played by the lovely and provocative Nora Zehetner of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Heroes” notoriety.  Also in this we find our local king pin of crime in this suburban area, ironically enough called  “The Pin” played by Lukas Haas, and his number one henchman Tug, played by Noah Fleiss.

How are these people involved in the murder of Brendan’s ex? What is this “brick” everyone keeps referring to and how will Brendan find out all the answers he needs before someone drops the dime on him as the murder of his ex-girlfriend? To find out all of this and more I highly recommend going out and renting this provocative whodunit. Or move it to the top of your Netflix line up, I can pretty much guarantee if you like a good murder mystery, or are also a fan of the noir film genre, then you will enjoy this movie.

Below I’m going to give you just a little taste, but remember, the first taste is free, the rest is up to you to.

I give “Brick” a 4.5 out of 5 stars, And that’s how I see it.

If you like these movies you will more than likely enjoy this one, and vice versa is true.

The Lookout

Mysterious Skin

The Brothers Bloom

Hard Candy

© David Carl Dobbs and How Dobbs Sees it, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Carl Dobbs and How Dobbs Sees it with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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