Brick is the best new film I’ve seen so far this year. I have no idea who else will like it. It’s so unique in style that I have trouble thinking of any movie to compare it to. I can’t just say it’s like foo only darker, or like bar but edgier. It’s like Star Wars, only less about an inter-stellar rebellion with pseudo-religious overtones and more about a highschool kid investigating the murder of his ex-girlfriend.
I expected that the California highschool setting would make it more accessible. That setting has been used a lot to present the classics to a modern audience (including Ten Things I Hate About You, also featuring Joseph Gordon Levitt, which was based on The Taming of the Shrew), so it seemed reasonable to think it would be used for the same purpose to modernise the private detective genre. But in Brick director Rian Johnson clearly had no intention of making any concessions to accessibility, whether in style, in plot, or in the film’s strange characteristic dialogue which is is laced with Johnson’s own invented slang. Brick is farther removed from those valley-teen comedies than you would think possible within a medium.
Initially I wasn’t sure I was going to like Brick. I don’t know whether the pace was off at the beginning of the film or if it just took me a few minutes to adjust to the unfamiliar setting. Whatever it was, thankfully it was very quickly sorted out so I could get properly engrossed in the film. And engrossed I got, I have to say. I’ve been singing Levitt’s praises for longer than most people have known his name, so I’ll hopefully have a few opportunities for "I told you so"s if anyone else actually watches this movie. Which you should. Now. Go.