(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Brick Mansions was a typical undercover cop catching a drug lord for revenge type of movie with some sub par acting, cheesy lines, uneven storyline, extremely forced action, and to top it all off, they had a political message that comes out randomly, but you can’t blame the movies creativeness on the action. Rating 2.5 out of 5 Stars.
I love cop movies. There are classic cop movies like Beverly Hills Cop, Speed, End of Watch, and my personal favorite The Departed. However, a lot of these cop movies all fall in some sort of typical story which is usually a cop trying to catch the biggest drug lord, and the drug lord probably killed his partner or family member so the revenge factor is usually there as well. Like the movies I mentioned, the silver lining is that they bring a very unique twist to their story where it is not so typical and makes it memorable. In the end, cops do go through typical things everyday, and why they are the true heroes. As for Brick Mansions, it does fall in the cliched pit, but did they try to make it unique, but it just falls flat.I understand it is a remake of the French movie District 13, but I have never seen it so this is fresh for me. i would start with what I didn’t like, to the so-so, to what I liked.
What I didn’t like, other than the cliched cop storyline that deals with revenge emphasis, is that the story was so uneven. It’s like they were not sure to make it a cop movie, a gang life movie, or a political movie. They tried with all three, and by the time the political message comes out it’s like really now (more on that later). Also it seems that Detroit is the butt of all crime city jokes and cop storylines of how bad it is over there, and Brick Mansions was no different The acting was very sub par, other than Paul Walker, playing Damian Collier, who did the best he could with this script, everybody else was like eh. David Belle, who played Lino Dupree was hard to comprehend at times, but he was there more for the crazy action than the acting. Same with Catalina Denis, playing Lola, her Spanish accent makes it hard to understand too, but she was there just for her good looks. Rza, who played the drug lord Tremaine Alexander, had his moments, but too me he wasn’t that intimidating for a drug lord. What annoyed me the most that he kept adding Wu Tang lines and sounded Jamaican at times as well. Rza has potential as an actor, but needs the right direction. The rest of Alexander’s crew acting were horrendous as well. Carlo Rota, who played a high class drug lord George the Greek, i couldn’t take seriously as well. He stilled reminded me of Morris from 24 and just really wasn’t that intimidating.
The so-so, there was a political message in this about the rich versus the poor, in how the rich don’t care about the poor people and rather kill us off, and create more business for themselves than anything else (cough, cough, Republicans). I agree with that message, however when this movie really started to deliver that message, all I could do was shake my head, because it had no true sense of meaning behind it. They try to one up it at the end of the movie by having the poor people fight back, and having a drug lord Tremaine Alexander running for mayor. Really now? That’s over the top. One other thing that like to mention is that I liked the scene with Damian Collier and his grandfather. To me it shows some power in what Damian Collier is trying to fight for. i wish they showed more of that relationship in the movie.
What I liked, this was a type of movie that over the top action using parkour big time. The chase scene at the beginning was fun to watch seeing David Belle (and Paul Walker’s stunt double) doing all his parkour stunts. Then it just settled down to brief spurts for the rest of the movie. I don’t blame this movie for their creativity in this type of action, I actually commend it from the direction of unknown director Camille Delamarre. Just need some better writers.
Overall the movie was a sub par cop movie, but i want to take this time to honor Paul Walker since it’s his last full feature. I first remembered him as he acted his most iconic character which was Brian O’Connor in The Fast and Furious. That movie he showed how fun street car driving is, and his dilemma as a cop trying to bring down Dominic Toretto, played by Vin Diesel. I always enjoyed that movie, and probably the best movie in this whole series. Probably Walker’s most craziest role was in Running Scared where he played a low level Mafia member/undercover cop. He brought a lot of energy into a crazy, violent, and disturbing movie, and shows his range of acting. He played a soldier in Flags of our Fathers, a high school football player in Varsity Blues, and even a Alaskan dog sledder in Eight Below. Walker was a true action star, and I appreciate that about him, and it was you that really made the Fast and Furious movies memorable. You enjoyed street racing, even though it lead to your death, I know you was enjoying it. May you RIP Paul Walker!!! Final Rating 2.5 out of 5.