I'm hesitant to say that 'Brick' is probably even better than I'm giving it credit for, I just need to watch it again. Out of all Johnson's films, this feels like the most personal, and the screenplay has clearly been crafted with great care. There's a general sense throughout that this is both something we've seen, as well as something totally unique. I can honestly say that there isn't really a film like 'Brick' out there; and yet I can also say that this film owes a debt to a great many films. At first I didn't recognise it, but this is, quite clearly, a new take on the classic noir we all love so dearly, and Johnson's update is vastly compelling. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, in what must be his best performance, exudes coolness in this movie. He's both an outcast skinny kid with glasses and a fist-fighting bad-ass all at once, and his personal ties with the main mystery make his character even more compelling. You can tell Johnson was slightly limited by budget, but with a measly $450,000, I think he did the absolute most he could. You definitely get a sense of his style, which would of course become more refined later with 'Looper', but there's an energy with this films direction that really makes his presence behind the camera felt at all times. This is a smart, taut and highly creative reimagining of a well-worn genre that requires your whole attention with its fast-moving developments, but one that with repeat viewings could easily move up a star.
A wonderful acted and filmed mystery and emotional jurney for a new age. I am glad this film was made and it is good for repeated views and deeper appreciation.