In noir terms, neither the storyline or characters of Brick are revolutionary. In fact, both are as noir as it gets. That's the point. But when they're set among teenagers at a high school, it becomes a decidedly different type of film. Meta-noir, I suppose?
Frankly, I just love this film. It's slick and well-done, and full of both dark plots and sly humor. It's possible, though that noir fans get more out of it than others do. As long as you can stretch your ideas of noir, that is. I think Brick is a good example of how film noir isn't so much about the light coming in through the blinds or puffs of cigarette smoke - all in shades of black and white - as it is about that hard, unlucky, and dirty side of human society. That's why I like it - that's the interesting stuff.
Next week: Scarlet Street.