Brick Rian Johnson

Brick Rian Johnson
Brick is an exceptional indie flick that likes to have fun with its intricate plot, right down to the very last (not so) revelatory frame. Rian Johnson (whose previous work was a short by the name of Evil Demon Golfball from Hell!!!) has crafted a fine piece of neo-noir that mixes slick, verbose dialogue with a real mystery that is engaging and gets progressively weirder by the minute.

The always impressive Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays high school student Brendan Frye, a cunning teenager who becomes a masterful sleuth when his missing ex-girlfriend Emily (The Hills Have Eyes’ Emilie de Ravin) contacts him one day with a cryptic cry for help. Dead set on discovering her whereabouts, Brendan enlists the help of friend the Brain (Matt O’Leary), who works behind the scenes while he scopes things out confrontationally without caution.

What Brendan uncovers is a mystery encircled by a ring of shady characters operating under dangerous circumstances. As he gets closer to the truth of Emily’s disappearance, he uncovers secrets that lead to an unpredictable finale that will keep you in wonderment. Free of pretence, Brick is a sharp suspense/thriller that finds uniqueness in its ability to uncover happenings and its arduous dialect, which will make it or break it for some viewers due to its coded ambiguity. Jet-black in its noir, it teeters on David Lynch-ian territory, however, Johnson stops himself at the right time, just as Brick is about to fall victim to incoherence.

Hardly an easy picture to sit back to, relax and enjoy, Johnson trusts the talents of Gordon-Levitt, now a seasoned pro on the indie circuit, to carry the narrative, as he did in last year’s twisted masterpiece, Mysterious Skin. Brick is an impressive and intriguing debut motion picture for this first-time director and another impressive entry in Gordon-Levitt’s post-Third Rock career. (Alliance Atlantis)