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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Movie Review: Indie thriller soars with witty dialogue

    Third Rock from the Suns Joseph Gordon-Levitt has truly moved on from his surfer-hair alien-playing days. He plays a high school sleuth-type character in his latest independent thriller Brick.
    “”Third Rock from the Sun’s”” Joseph Gordon-Levitt has truly moved on from his surfer-hair alien-playing days. He plays a high school sleuth-type character in his latest independent thriller “”Brick.””

    “”Brick”” starts out the way any good thriller should – with a dead body. The plot that follows tracks the events that lead up to the dead body lying under the bridge and the main character’s quest to break down the mystery and seek revenge for someone too dead to do it themselves.

    Brendan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) receives a mysterious phone call from his old girlfriend Emily (Emilie de Ravin). Frightened and terrified, she turns to Brendan for help, but she can’t even tell him the whole story. However, almost immediately, she shuts Brendan off at the pass from helping her. Brendan, however, steals her notebook and finds out about a covert meeting beneath a bridge late at night. He doesn’t show though and, the next morning, discovers her dead body under the bridge.

    He then sets off on a mission to find out what it was that got her in over her head so bad that she was killed. The only clues he has about what happened to her are unusual words that stood out from the cryptic phone conversation they shared. Taking those words, Brendan pieces together her involvement with a drug king pin and infiltrates the underground world to become a part of the scheme that killed her.

    What stands out in “”Brick”” is the tongue twisting dialogue. Each line is a mouthful to spit out. The dialogue is much richer than one would find in the average movie, partly because it’s ripped straight from the novella it’s based on. Gordon-Levitt may give rapid-fire delivery, but he knows when to pause nonchalantly so the audience doesn’t miss the dry wit of the line. The execution of it helps to play up the resonance of each line.

    The mixing of genres in “”Brick”” doesn’t quite come together as well as the dialogue does. Mixing a high school setting with the crime thriller genre is interesting but misused here. The high school setting is all but forgotten at times and adds little to the plot. You would almost forget about the fact that the characters are in high school if every now and then Gordon-Levitt didn’t occasionally utter lines like “”She knows where I eat lunch?””

    School is an arbitrary character, seeing as how the characters never even go to class because they’re too busy skipping out for meetings at drug lords’ houses. Playing this up could have helped create depth for the characters, as it did in the rare occasions it was used.

    Lowdown

    Brick
    R, 110 min.
    Focus Features

    7/10

    The contrast between the toughness of the drug pin character with the fact that he still lived at home with his mom who served Tang and cookies for a snack brought some comic hilarity.

    “”Brick”” serves as a great vehicle to infuse the gangster/mobster thriller genre with a dry wit that no movie should be without.

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