Thursday, July 27, 2006


An American high school film noir murder mystery. A girl makes a mysterious phone call to her loner ex-boyfriend who finds her dead 2 days later. He sets out to find out why ahead of the bulls (cops). Everyone is an extreme stereotype: "Brains" with his thick glasses who eats lunch alone to avoid being baited, a jock with his adoring fan club, two manipulative femmes fatales to act as the school's puppet masters and a hierarchy of drug pushers, the bullying assistant VP, the oblivious parents -- refreshingly there are no cheerleaders. More than most high school films the need to attend class never gets in the way of the protagonists and their out-of-class lives make them busy people.

The plot has as many twists and turns as you would expect for a film noir and ultimately exists as much to give atmosphere as it does to drive the story. A lot of violence gets handed out but our hero Brendan has more ‘come back’ in him than a country singer and he staggers on to the end. There are some great funny scenes especially when the film maker reminds us from time to time that these people are just school kids. The other vital ingredient that puts this film into the must see category is the dialog. Trying to understand the jargon and slang is as much part of the fun as trying to second guess the plot turns.

It is worth going out of your way to see this.

Ian’s Rating 5/5

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