on paper this shouldn't work: a film noir set in a college with a hapless geek for a lead, trying to piece together a murder whilst failing to dodge endless thrashings and manipulations from a group of teenaged noir cliches.
but it does work. and is superb. very much due to strong performances with an imaginative and deep understanding of the genre. joseph gordon levett is really good, and is surrounded in all directions (in front of and behind the camera) by what seems to be a whole bunch of people who totally connected with the whole premise of the film. it shows a real control and an amazing level of foresight from debut director rian johnson, who should be ladled credit for his work.
part of the joy is finding all the film noir conventions within the college setting: the nervous informant, the femme fatale cabaret star, the invincible hitman, the physically disfigured criminal kingpin ("he's old, like twenty-six"). i also really liked how they slightly washed out the final print - i saw it as a nod to the black & white films of an earlier time.
brick is sexy, solid and hilarious. an absolute blast to watch.