1 September 2007

Brick (4/5)

This is a concept-piece that could have gone really wrong [ IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes ]. I liked it more than I should have possibly because it didn't go wrong and in fact had some really keen turns within it. The story is noir but told with teens in basically believable roles. As with noir, the characters quirks are ratcheted up quite a bit, but their source rings true. The hero, Brendan, is a moody ex-dealer who's lost his girlfriend to the life. She now dates one of the seedier dropouts and in a moment of peril calls Brendan for help, but quickly recants. He knows something's up, finds her body in the sewer, and soon goes on a tear to take down the underworld he was once a part of.

The language is pure 40s gumshow with terms more familiar ("bulls" for cops), terms I'd only heard once before ("yeggs" for burglers), and many that just flew by uninterpretably around bloody mouths or sobbing. At times, the characters did slip into unsuccessful characature, but more often the hard-boiled life would be parodied with scenes of triangularly folded notes slipped into lockers or a mother doting over a crime boss pow wow with country juice glasses. The humor softened the flawed earnestness, and the story had the twists and red herrings to keep you guessing up to the end. I have the feeling I'm going to like it more-and-more as time goes on.

[ posted by sstrader on 1 September 2007 at 1:17:39 PM in Cinema ]