Movie Review: Brick Mansions

brick

Stars: Paul Walker, David Belle, RZA, Catalina Denis, Gouchy Boy, Ayisha Issa

Rated PG-13 for frenetic gunplay, violence and action throughout, language, sexual menace and drug material, Running time 90 minutes, Action/Crime

Compare to: Rumble in the Bronx (1995), The Protector (2005)

If you’re familiar with Martial Arts/Action films, then prepare yourself for this. While Parkour and fist fights are cool, expecting much past that really is asking too much.

Brick Mansions serves as an American remake of the 2004 French Action film, District B-13 and if you’ve seen it, you’re pretty much watching the same movie. If you haven’t seen it, you may be in for something fun, though it’s no Raid: Redemption.

In the not-to-distant future, Detroit actually gets worse than it is now and has been abandoned and quarantined. The worst of the worst live there and most work for Alexander Tremaine’s gang. This creates a major problem for thug-with-a-heart-of-gold Lino who has to team up with Damien; a cop sent in to the projects to stop an armed nuclear weapon Tremaine has gotten a hold of- and they don’t have long.

"So LET'S...MAKE...A DEAL!"

“So LET’S…MAKE…A DEAL!”

Who cares, right? This movie is about the balls-out action. Does it deliver? Yes and no. As stated, this is no Raid which is what all Martial Arts films should aspire to be at this point and while The Raid holds nothing back, Mansions feels like it is the majority of the time. The fights and chases are a bit provincial in style but it’s not to say that nothing is to be enjoyed.

David Belle, star of the original film as well, is back again to jump like Ceaser through the concrete jungle of Detroit, escaping gunfire from thugs that were taught by Stormtroopers. His team-up with Paul Walker has its moments of humor though seeing Walker in his last completed role may be what actually holds your attention in the relationship.

Which mostly consists of kicking and punching but...you knew that already.

Which mostly consists of kicking and punching but…you knew that already.

The dubbing of French stuntman Belle is so poorly done it felt like I was watching a dubbing of the original. That or an anime. At one point, a nameless thug’s startling overreacting is at once horrible and enjoyable. Note to any aspiring actors: No matter what you’re meant to emote, your eyes open as wide as they can, your bottom lip stretched out and your neck strained is probably best used minimally as opposed to a default face. But hey, they’re not going for awards here.

Still, I can’t say it wasn’t entertaining. Maybe more nameless minions would be remembered if they chose to guard prisoners with a look of severe constipation.

Much of the dialogue consists of cheesy lines that these adrenaline junkies would punch the book of poems they were ripped from, though the overall ideas aren’t something to scoff at, being ones of equality no matter the person’s race or social standing.

"You got like three feet of air that time."

“You got like three feet of air that time.”

Is it something you’ll remember walking out of the theater? Nah. You’ll jump remember when those two vehicles SLAMMED into each other at high speeds while Paul Walker and David Belle (Or their stunt doubles) flipped off of a near by dumpster! Oh heck yes. Dumpster flipping.

Positives: Cool fight scenes, Paul Walker feels a little more animated than in most roles, Parkour steals the show here.

Negatives: Acting, dubbing, story- all weak points. There isn’t a thing that happens here outside of the action that you won’t see coming.

Grade: C

Side note: Ki: Theory is the artist of the “Stand By Me Cover” heard in the trailer

 

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