Brick (2005)

DailyView: Day 351, Movie 499

Today’s DailyView is Rian Johnson’s directorial debut. It was a film that I had never heard of, but I saw it mentioned by film critic William Bibbiani on Twitter as one of the better whodunits around. I like a good whodunit so I added it to my list and rented it on Vudu.

Brick is a neo-noir mystery film from 2005 that featured Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a high school student who discovered the body of Emily (LOST’s Emilie de Ravin), the girl he was in love with but who had broken up with him. Gordon-Levitt’s character, Brendan, decided that he would be the person to solve her murder, not the police, and so he hid her body and went about injecting himself into the world of drug running that had gotten her killed.

This film was well constructed and kept the viewer thinking about what had happened through the whole plot. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was excellent as Brendan, who took quite a beating as the film progressed. Laura (Nora Zehetner), tied to the drug runners, was becoming closer with Brendan, despite his doubt in her. Matt O’Leary played The Brain, the kid Brendan went to in order to figure out what he could. Lukas Haas played The Pin, the head of the drug runners in the school who Brendan tried to get in tight with. The Pin’s muscle, Tug (Noah Fleiss) reacted to most situations violently and attacked Brendan several times as Brendan continued to try and ingratiate himself into the Pin’s world.

All the performances were strong, but they were all anchored by Gordon-Levitt. He does a fantastic job of showing Brendan’s dedication to finding out who put Emily in the line of fire.

There was a great use of dialogue in the film and the writing was solid. I enjoyed seeing the noir based, for the most part, in the high school setting with high school students behind the issues. You could tell that Rian Johnson had that something special that would lead to success.

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