Brick - Hammett High

Alliance Atlantis
Duration: 110min
Category: drama
Available: On DVD
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Did you ever ask yourself what you would get when you take the hard-boiled detective genre and set it in a high school? If you ever have asked yourself this random query you can relax. Director Rian Johnson has given us the answer. You get Brick.

Imagine The Maltese Falcon or Red Harvest set in the halls of a California secondary school and you get the basic premise of Brick. Imagine if you can mixing the high school stock characters (the jock, the nerd, the cliquey girls) with the pulp fiction standards (the femme fatales, the crime lord with a cane, the dumb thug). Johnson lovingly throws all these into the blender and out pops the line up of Brick.

Then imagine the jargon filled, wit laced, rapid fire dialogue of an underworld pot-boiler coming out of the mouths of pretty faced spoiled valley boys and girls. Throw in the Vice Principle (VP in this lingo) as the stand in for the cops and itís all rather absurd but generally very entertaining.

The odd mix that is Brick works generally, when you arenít giggling too much. Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets most of the credit for making this impossibility seem believableÖ well, enough to be enjoyable. So brilliant in Mysterious Skin Gordon-Levitt has left behind his 3rd Rock days to become a strong indie performer. Without a lead with his chops, this Brick would have sunk. The rest of the cast really isnít up to it but he sells it.

The story, premise and execution are all a bit over the top but if you let yourself enjoy it Brick can be fun and even a bit heartbreaking. The production values only get a C so this is one Brick you can wait to rent at home.

Review By: Collin Smith

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