Friday, May 26, 2017

Movie review: Brick

 When Brendan's ex-girlfriend turns up dead he must dive into the underworld of high school crime, thespian domination, thugs, drugs, and nerds to find her killer.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Brendan), Nora Zehetner (Laura), Lukas Haas (The Pin), Noah Fleiss (Tugger), Matt O'Leary (The Brain), Emilie de Ravin (Emily), Noah Segan (Dode), Richard Roundtree (V.P. Trueman).

Brick begins in the middle of the story with Brendan finding the body of Emily, his ex-girlfriend. The plot then does a rewind showing us a bit about his relationship with Emily, and how he found her body. Yet another shift and the focus is now on his quest to find, and punish, her killer.

While this sounds great, it is not. The story is decent, but the storytelling leaves a bit to be desired. Heavy use of strange slang made a fair amount of dialogue difficult. Additionally, the high school age characters behave well beyond their years with no apparent adult supervision and lavish lifestyles for many. As a result the film is hard to believe and audience engagement suffers.

Acting was decent with Gordon-Levitt delivering nicely. Fleiss did well with his one-track-minded character, as did O'Leary. Haas was good, though his character was somewhat unrealistic. Segan, Roundtree, and the remainder of the cast were enjoyable.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were fitting and solid. Action scenes were okay, though several felt somewhat unrealistic. Dialogue, as mentioned, was difficult with strange slang that was not at all explained or beneficial to understanding the plot. Sound and soundtrack were okay.

Though not as overdone, Brick felt like a poor imitation of A Clockwork Orange without the steampunk aspect. While the dialogue is a challenge, you can still follow the plot, though it feels like there is depth you can't quite see. Fans of quirky Indie films should enjoy this one.

With plenty of violence, blood, mild sexuality, more violence, foul language, and some drugs, this should be fine for older teens and above.

Released: 2005
Reviewed: 5.12.17
Star rating: 2 out of 5
Genre: Drama, Indie Drama, Crime Thriller, Crime Drama, Mystery

copyright ©2017 Dave Riedel

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