Brick Mansions is a regular buddy action movie that only stands out because of some jaw-dropping parkour and also because this is one of the last movies Paul Walker starred in. So even though the movie is rather silly, at the end when the dedication “in loving memory of Paul Walker” comes up, you remember all the escapist entertainment Walker with his laidback beach boy good looks gave us and doff a cap in his memory. It also makes the movie more significant than it needs to be.
The parkour is thanks to David Belle, who is one of the eight founders of the free running style. The opening sequence is awesome as Belle reveals his unstoppable avatar using every hurdle to propel his mad run. From awesome opening to touching end, the movie runs a spare 90 minutes, which is not very difficult to sit through.
Sometime in the near future, hugemansions in Detroit have been taken over by criminals, who are ruled by Tremaine Alexander, gun-runner, arms dealer, drug dealer and all-round bad guy. The law has given up on the area, cordoned it off, and let anarchy rule. Lino Dupree in the brick mansions takes on Tremaine, as he wants drugs off the streets. There is also Damien Collier, a cop seeking revenge on Tremaine for his father’s death.
The duo’s paths collide when Collier is sent to the brick mansions to find and defuse a nuclear device and Tremaine kidnaps Lino’s ex-girlfriend Lola. All the staples of the action movies of the 80s are here — the reluctant partners, the cat fight between girls wearing very little by way of clothes, and the dumb thugs.
Brick Mansions is a remake of the 2004 French film, District 13. Both films are written and produced by Luc Besson, who takes time off from CIA dads out to rescue their beautiful daughters (Taken, 3 Days to Kill) to create a cops, robbers and bad guys movie. Cast-wise, Paul Walker is first seen with black hair and eyes but quickly reverts to his blond hair and blue eyes. He is not stretched in this role, which is like an extension of his Brian O’Conner from the Fast and Furious franchise.
David Belle reprises his role from District 13 as Lino, while rapper RZA plays bad guy Tremaine with lots of jewellery, an interest in cooking, and bad lines like “sometimes you don’t need rocket science, you just need a rocket.”
Director: Camille Delamarre
Cast: Paul Walker, RZA, David Belle
Storyline: A cop and a criminal get together to take down a bad boss
Bottomline: Zip zap zoom