Starring: Paul Walker, David Belle, RZA, Catalina Denis, Robert Maillet
Director: Camille Delamarre
2014 | 90 Minutes | PG-13
“I coulda killed you already.” – French dude
I still haven’t seen District B13 but I know I really need to. With Brick Mansions hitting NetFlix I figured I would give it a chance first.
In the year 2018, Detroit police officer Damien Collier (Paul Walker) infiltrates a condemned, militarized project known as the Brick Mansions. His mission: avenge his father’s murder and stop a madman from using a neutron bomb to devastate the city.
Well, first off, Brick Mansions is basically the parkour version of The Fast & The Furious. If you take the original Fast & Furious movie from 2001 and replace the guys racing silly looking cars with guys doing jumpy flippy things off rooftops and replace Vin Diesel with a little French guy with a dubbed American sounding voice… you get Brick Mansions. Sound good? It’s not.
No offense to the late Mr. Walker but it’s not a great sign for your movie when he is the best actor of the bunch. The thing is, I have actually enjoyed his acting in his more recent movies. So, it leads me to believe it isn’t his fault at all. It just might be a horrible script and poor direction.
The bad guys are some of the worst bad guy stereotypes I have seen since the ‘80s. That chick who uses a straight razor as a weapon? Her name is Rayzah. Get it? That’s what we’re dealing with here. And the villain dialogue is more cheesy than the heroes so…
On the plus side, former WWE wrestler Robert Maillet aka Kurrgan makes a brief appearance. That’s gotta be worth something to someone.
For a movie that is a remake of a movie that is based almost solely around the concept of creating an action movie about parkour… there actually isn’t a huge amount of parkour. It’s like the filmmakers realized that the parkour fad has sort of died down a bit since it hit its height with Casino Royale. So they made a parkour movie without a ton of parkour leaving us with… well… not much. It also leaves us with a curious case of Paul Walker’s character sometimes being able to do parkour type maneuvers and sometimes not. One scene he’s doing standing backflips and another he’s staring blankly at David Belle like he’s never even heard of parkour… in the year 2018… a full 12 years after the release of Casino Royale and 9 years after that one The Office episode where Michael, Dwight and Andy are doing their own version of parkour in which Jim refers to parkour as “the internet sensation of 2004.”
Parkour is still really cool to watch but Brick Mansions is just bad. Repeatedly groan inducingly bad. Now I REALLY have to go back and watch District B13 to see the real thing cause this just can’t be it. The original HAS to be better than this. Right?