Review: Brick (2005)

I received a comment on my post about film noir’s from Samuel Mulder about any neo noir films that I would recommend other than the likes of Pulp Fiction or Chinatown.  At the time, I had no answer to his inquiry… I do now.

Brick was recommended to me by a fellow classmate in my seminar over the summer and it peaked my interest for mainly one reason: Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  As I’ve mentioned before, I kinda fancy him.  And other than Ten Things I Hate About You, I haven’t really seen any of his earlier work.  The trailer looked interesting, so I had to see what this movie was all about.

Brendan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a high school loner, is sought out by his ex-girlfriend who has gotten herself into some trouble.  When she winds up dead, he decides to investigate her murder and gets himself caught up in the underbelly of a teenage crime ring.

The plot sounds a little unrealistic and far-fetched.  A noir detective story that is set in high school.  Huh?  It sounds weird, but the cool thing about it is that, surprisingly, it works!

This movie has all the elements of a noir:

  • The hard boiled detective (Brendan)
  • Quick, witty banter
  • The femme fatale
  • Crime

There are also some points in the film were statuettes of falcons are shown, an obvious nod to The Maltese Falcon.

The storyline was a little hard to follow at some points; however, it wouldn’t be noir if it weren’t.  Also, there’s a lot of mumbling (to the point where I couldn’t really understand what the actors were saying).

The acting was very good in this movie.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt did a good job at portraying the anti hero/hard boiled detective/high school loner.  Emilie de Ravin did a good job with her role for the little amount of time we do see her.  Matt O’Leary plays Brain and I really liked this character and thought he did a great job with the role.  We don’t get to see Brain that often in the movie, however I like the ambiguity of this character.  A lot of people talk about him being a figment of Brendon’s imagination, which is kind of supported in the movie: the only person that ever sees him or talks to him in person is Brendon.  However, this is just a theory and it is left up to the viewer.

I really enjoyed this movie.  I like how they incorporated the aspects of film noir into it.  It’s an interesting take on noir that keeps you on the edge of your seat!


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