I loved Brick so much that I wish I had more and better things to say about Rian Johnson’s follow-up movie. There were some beautiful shots and some very good gags, and it actually earned a little pathos by the end. But the cleverness was worn way too obviously, there was a surplus of voice-over, all the Double Shyamalans got old, I never stopped believing that Mark Ruffalo was Mark Ruffalo, and there were some distinctly Orientalist aspects to Bang Bang that made me uncomfortable.
On the other hand, I think it passes the Bechdel Test–Rinko Kikuchi and Rachel Weisz are actually the best parts of the movie. And the Brick cameos tickled me. And the movie at least had the sense to joke about its own very overt, very LOOK-HE’S-WEARING-A-WHITE-SUIT symbolism.
I don’t know! It was okay. I’d see it if I were you, and I hope Johnson’s next movie is just a little less ambitious, and meaner.