I like movies. I'll watch the popular ones and enjoy them with everyone else but I also try to see some that are not as well known but I feel are worth watching. This movie is called Brick.
Film Noir is one of my favorite film genre's; which primarily describes a look, a feel, in stylish Hollywood crime dramas. Hollywood's classic film noir period is generally regarded as stretching from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. Film noir of this era is associated with a low-key black-and-white visual style (shadows, steaming vents on darkened streets, reflections on a rainy pavement, snappy affected dialogue – I think Gilmore Girls set in the 1940’s.)
Further defined from the excellent reference wiki:“We'd be oversimplifying things in calling film noir oneiric (pertaining to dream), strange, erotic, ambivalent, and cruel...." by the French critics Raymond Borde and Etienne Chaumeton in their 1955 book Panorama du film noir américain 1941–1953 (A Panorama of American Film Noir). Gotta love that scene in the link (black and white). It is the essence of what I'm talking about.
However it’s defined, I know it when I see it.
This is a story of a loner who infiltrates high school cliques to investigate his ex-girlfriend's disappearance. When she goes missing, Brendan vows to uncover the truth; battling through the seedy dealings of his high-school crime ring to solve the mystery.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Brendan Frye, a junior-league Humphrey Bogart and his ex-girlfriend is Emily (Lost's Emilie de Ravin.- Claire Littleton).
He enlists the aid of his only true peer, the Brain, (and his only friend) Matt O'Leary; a Rubik's Cube obsessed, bespectacled, whiz kid.
Brendan's search sends him into a world of characters like rich-girl sophisticate Laura, intimidating Tugger, substance-abusing Dode, seductive Kara, jock Brad, and - most ominously - non-student, the Pin.
Only by gaining acceptance into the Pin's closely guarded inner circle of crime and punishment that Brendan will be able to uncover clues about Emily and the suspects that he is getting closer to. One of the best of the cast is Lukas Haas, playing Pin. He's sinister and effete, and still lives at home with his mother. Yes, his mother. I find that ironic.
Brick pays homage to film noir with similar story structures, notable characters, and a witty, quirky, well paced dialogue of a 30s/40s hard boiled detective thriller.
Directed by Rian Johnson, there are many great moments, camera angles, lighting, characters; never a lack of suspense while keeping the sense of film noir alive.
A sample of film noir dialog coming from Brendan (well quoted in other reviews so I’ll use too) in his locker-lined hall of the school to a bunch of adversaries: "Throw one at me if you want, hash head," he growls to one of a bunch of dopes threatening to punch him out. "I've got all five senses and I slept last night - that puts me six up on the lot of you."From the soundtrack: Sister Ray, Velvet Underground.