Saturday, August 26, 2006

DVD: Brick

• It's a detective story as hardboiled as a … brick.

Genres: Mystery, whodunit, noir, high school
Director: Rian Johnson
DVD released: Aug. 8, 2006
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas, Noah Fleiss, Noah Segan, Nora Zehetner
Verdict: &&&

Brick successfully fuses disparate elements that seemingly don't belong in the same movie, such as disaffected urban high schoolers and hardboiled, noirish detective movie dialogue. Hardly any adult characters appear in the movie; one declares the mysterious Pin (Lukas Haas, portraying a frail, unlikely crime boss headquartered in his mother's wood-paneled basement) to be "old" at age 26. Central character Brendan Frye (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a scrappy loner trying to find out who killed the ex-girlfriend he still loved, and he intersects with a dangerous assortment of druggies, thugs and liars en route to the truth. He gets used and, at times, abused (literally, in violent fistfights), but his smarts and determination continually bring him closer to an answer he may not really want to know. Brick is gritty, real and engaging, but the mystery is ultimately a bit too labyrinthine for its own good. // DVD notes // Lots of deleted and extended scenes and the customary commentary.

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