Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hammet in High School

When I was in high school I really loved mystery movies and noir films. Although it's been a while since I have watched any, I wanted to see if the genre had anything new to offer. I went on Netflix and saw that "Brick" was on, and although i had seen it before five years ago, I wanted to check it out again to see why it did not really stick with me the first time.

The movie was directed by Rian Johnson, who has recently received attention because of his sci-fi thriller "Looper." "Brick" stars Joseph Gordon Levitt, in one of his first break out indie roles, as Brendan Frye,  a high school outcast who discovers that his ex-girlfriend, Emily (Emile DeRavin), has gone missing. Although it is a high school movie, the characters talk as if they are in a 1940s detective movie. With the help of his friend Brain (Matt O'Leary), Brendan gets involved with the drug underworld of his high school, while also dealing with jocks, stoners, the Vice Principal who acts like the chief of police to Brendan's Philip Marlowe.

The movie has beautiful cinematography and the music helps create tension in the most pivotal, tense scenes. The script, although sometimes hard to follow, creates a great mystery thriller from beginning to end. Seeing it a second time, I think I understood the characters' motivations more and how everything fit together. I really think its one of the more underrated movies to come out in the last decade and should not be overlooked by film lovers just because of the high school setting.

 I highly recommend this movie if you like noir, off beat high school movies, or Joseph Gordon Levitt.

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