An original story, but it aspires to the noir genre.

Article by Keir Hind | 16 May 2006

It's another movie set in a high school, but 'Brick', from first time director Rian Johnson, is a little different. There is a trend, which started in the mid 90s, of setting classic literature in high schools, such as 'Clueless' (from 'Emma'), 'She's All That' ('Pygmalion'), 'Crime and Punishment in Suburbia' (guess) and several Shakespeare plays. Most took the basic plots and did away with atmosphere and cultural context. 'Brick' is an original story, but it aspires to the noir genre, with a darker plotline than normal for a teen movie. It follows Brendan Frye, a streetwise student in L.A (Philip Marlowe's old stomping ground) who investigates his ex-girlfriend's disappearance, with the school geek as a source and the vice principal as the police captain-like authority figure. Note that for added authenticity, Richard 'Shaft' Roundtree plays him, a nod to the gritty variety of noir that's being homaged. Look at the trailer - link below, and on our website - and you'll see that there's a suitably washed out, grainy look to this film, and some choice, hardboiled(ish), dialogue. Oh, and 'Brick' also won the Special Jury prize for 'Originality of Vision' at the Sundance Film Festival. The evidence isn't yet conclusive, but 'Brick' looks worthy of further investigation.

Brick is released on May 12