Synopsis: A student immerses himself into a high school crime ring to discover the answer to the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend. What trouble did she get herself into and why did she contact Brendan.
Main Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nora Zehetner, Lukas Haas, Noah Fleiss, Noah Segan, Emilie de Ravin
The Hype: This is one of those movies that was recognised at the Sundance Festival for a special Jury prize and seems to have entered some sort of cult classic status amongst film fans. It more than made its money back and has been rated as one of the best high school movies ever made.
What I Thought: In answer to the above statement, I have no idea why. This film is Bogart goes back to school. The mood music was something from a film noir movie, all that was missing was the stupid voice over – “as I walked into my office, she was sittin’ there, this dirty broad with a spark in her eye that could set fire to the world” – that kind of thing. This has to be the least populated high school in the world aswell, There only appear to be a handful of students there and only two that are of any consequence in the movie. I felt that the film itself was quite conceited in its approach and tried to make this pretty ordinary movie about a brick of drugs into some big murder mystery, which it clearly isn’t.
It is hard for me to believe that Rian Johnson, the director here, is the same man behind Looper last year. The movie also includes an appearance from Shaft legend Richard Roundtree which I feel was only there to add some sort of gravitas to the film and although his part was kind of important to Brendan’s demeanour, anyone could have played the role. The music was also annoyingly constant which frustrated me somewhat as it sometimes did obscure what was being said by the characters.
Conclusions: Personally I find this movie highly overrated and though I suppose it is a good watch for some who are into film noir and Bogart type detective stories in particular, this just wasn’t for me and I can’t give it a good mark. It’s a shame because I rather like Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an actor. This of course is my opinion which may differ from yours which is fine by me.