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Brick

Noir goes Orange County
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  April 7, 2006
3.0 3.0 Stars
BRICK: The visual style often outdoes the script.A hard-boiled detective story in a contemporary Orange County setting, Rian Johnson’s debut feature holds a Surrealist mirror to the truth about high school. Few recent American films have dared to be as heedless of the rules of naturalism. Matching the Byronic cool of its main character (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a two-fisted loner/genius on the trail of those who did wrong to his damsel in distress, the filmmaker displays an admirable fidelity to his invented idioms of dialogue and behavior. At 110 minutes, most of them overlaid by unnecessary music, Brick tests the allowable limits for pastiche. But Johnson’s visual style — a greater asset than his script — is resourceful and funny, especially in the scenes in the headquarters of the local drug kingpin (Lukas Haas), who operates out of the wood-paneled basement of his kindly middle-class mom.
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  Topics: Reviews , Rian Johnson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas,  More more >
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