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A modern day film-noir set around a high-school student called, Brendan, who begins his own investigation in the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend.
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This is Rian Johnson’s debut as a writer/director. “Brick” is an intellectual high-school drama without the repetitive teen-angst plotline. It’s a refreshing, original piece of work, something I’ve been missing and haven’t seen for a long time on the big screen. I’m always happy to discover new filmmakers who manage to maintain their personal style from the very start of their careers. If “Brick” is just the beginning to what Johnson can achieve then he’s definitely someone to keep an eye on. Johnson is most recently known for his second feature, “The Brothers Bloom”, which stars Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel Weisz.
Brendan’s (Gordon-Levitt) girlfriend, Emily (De Ravin) broke up with him two months ago. Brendan is still heart-broken by their split and since has alienated himself from the rest of the world. But when Emily contacts him out of the blue for help, Brendan is quick to jump to her rescue. Brendan soon finds out a deeper and darker reason to her disappearance. He must now dive into the underworld of drug-dealers, drop-outs, and hit men in his town. There’s quite a large ensemble in the film and they all have a specific role to play in this detective story. They are all pieces to the puzzle that Brendan is trying to solve. Johnson has used a fair amount of unknown actors, which I really like, and in this case the new faces add more mystery to the film.
If you saw Brendan walking down the street you probably wouldn’t even notice him. He’s any ordinary teenager, I mean nothing about him really stands out, but when you get know him in this movie you realise that he is anything but average. Brendan doesn’t look like he is particularly strong either, in the physical sense that is, so you’ll be amazed by how many fights he gets himself into. I mean once he starts dealing with these thugs we’re thinking, there’s no hope for him, but no matter how many beatings he gets, there is just no stopping him. I absolutely love this character; he seems to have no fear in the world. All he wants to do is solve the mystery of his girlfriend’s disappearance. It goes to show how strong a broken-heart can make you.
“Brick” brings back the incredibly talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt. A lot of people may recognize him from the sitcom “Third Rock from the Sun” where he plays the character, “Tommy Solomon”. Well, Gordon-Levitt has grown up since then and has blossomed into a talented young man. You can find him in a lot of independent movies where he plays an array of different characters. He is an up-and-coming actor and I look forward to watching more of his films in the future. He does have a new film which is due to release very soon, it’s called “500 Days of Summer” starring alongside Zooey Deschanel.
Rian Johnson has re-introduced the film-noir genre to the modern day teenage audience. It’s similar to Baz Lurhman’s “Romeo and Juliet” but it has more of a darker and rustic feel. Johnson used his love of classic detective stories as inspiration for the film and it’s great to see how he mixes the old with the new. From the old-fashioned dialogue to the dark, quirky characters “Brick” is a gem and is not to be missed.