Saturday, April 26, 2014
Movie Review: Brick Mansions
Brick Mansions is one of Paul Walker's last films, not including the next Fast and the Furious movie, and it seemed to have an interesting premise. What I didn't know going in to the film is that it's a remake of a 2004 Parisian film, District B13 (Banlieue 13 in French) and David Belle, one of the main actors in this current version, played the same role in that movie as well as this one.
It was fairly amusing to see this film with a Detroit audience, because of some of the sheer ridiculousness of how it presents the city. The movie starts off in Detroit, 2018, where crime is at an all-time high and the worst part of the ghetto, Brick Mansions, has been cordoned off from the rest of the city. The people that live there are extremely poor, and many of them are thugs; the exception to this is a big-time drug dealer, Tremaine (RZA), who has his headquarters at the Mansions and also lives there. Damien (Walker), an undercover cop, needs to infiltrate the Mansions in order to apprehend Tremaine, and it's not just business - Tremaine and his thugs killed his dad, who was also a police officer, a few years back. Damien meets up with Lino (Belle), who also has a beef with Tremaine, and the two of them try to make their way through the Brick Mansions to him.
First off, the "urban acrobatics" (otherwise known as parkour) in this film were fantastic - which was good, because the plot of the movie is a bit muddled and very farfetched, in some parts. David Belle does some crazy acrobatics as he and Walker traverse the Mansions, and some of the looks Walker gives him as he tries to imitate his moves are very funny. The acting was just okay here overall, but that's mostly the fault of the unbelievable script.
Yes, see this film, but see it at a matinee - don't pay full price for it. Normally for this type of movie I would say wait for Redbox or Netflix, but the acrobatics were crazy good and very fun to watch. It was cool to see Detroit on the big screen as well, even though it was mostly just exterior shots of the skyline - the Fisher building and a few others were recognizable. It's a little sad that this will be one of the last films for which Paul Walker is remembered, but hopefully the next Fast & the Furious film will make up for this movie.
Brick Mansions is currently playing in theaters and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 90 minutes. 3 stars out of 5.