Brick Mansions (2014)

Action, Crime, Drama
Paul Walker, David Belle, RZA, Gouchy Boy
An undercover Detroit cop navigates a dangerous neighborhood that's surrounded by a containment wall with the help of an ex-con in order to bring down a crime lord and his plot to devastate the entire city.
Choppily edited and largely bereft of plot, Brick Mansions wastes a likable cast on a pointless remake of the far more entertaining District B13.
  • Relativity Media Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 25 Apr 2014 Released:
  • 09 Sep 2014 DVD Release:
  • $20.4M Box office:
  • Luc Besson (screenplay), Luc Besson (screenplay), Writer:
  • Camille Delamarre Director:
  • N/A Website:

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Trailer:

Not nearly as good as the original French film4/10
I personally thought the original French film "District B13" was great so when I first saw the preview for this I was excited especially with David Belle reprising his role. But maybe all that excitement got my hopes a little bit too high because I was very disappointed with this American version.

My first real problem was the fact that Belle's voice is dubbed. They shoot it in a way so that when his character has dialogue, his mouth is hardly visible and when it is visible, the words don't match what he's saying. It's similar to what happened in "Enter The Dragon" when the main bad guy's lines were all dubbed. I figured maybe since he was in the movie, he was able to speak some English.

In the original Paul Walker's character Damien, seems to have more skill with hand to hand combat. Walker isn't a martial artists and the fight scenes he has are your typical American cop type of fights. The one thing Paul Walker did was act. He and Belle were the only actors who can actually act. What I mean by that is the secondary characters were horrendous! B acting at best, I've seen better on the Scify channel.

My expectations were probably a bit too high and because of that I couldn't enjoy this all that much. The ending is also different in this movie and I disagree with it. The French film is so much better on so many levels. Skip this and watch District B13.
original was better6/10
I saw the original back in 2006 and absolutely loved it and its sequel. I had high expectations for this purely because I always wished they had made a third and when I saw Paul Walker was involved I had hoped this remake would be on par or better. Unfortunately I was wrong. While Brick Mansions is not a terrible film my viewing was ruined due to my love of the first one which this is almost a shot for shot copy of. My love of the French original may have set the bar too high it seems. Also my only major personal gripe is the voice dubbing of David belle. For some reason it struck a nerve with me and I could never really appreciate any scene. If you're looking for a good way to blow 2 hours or haven't seen the original by all means go see it but for myself this was just not what I had expected. Solid 6/10.
A bad yet still enjoyable action flick in Paul Walker's final film.6/10
Dystopian Detroit. Criminal exploits. No name thugs. Guns and drugs. These are probably words, phrases, and tags seen before in other movies, and apt descriptors of Brick Mansions. The movie is a remake of 2004′s french title District B13 and stars the late Paul Walker as police officer Damien Collier. For about a year, Damien has been undercover looking to take down Tremaine (RZA), a kingpin who also killed Damien's father while he was in the line of duty.

Tremaine and crew reside in Brick Mansions, a place so dangerous they built a wall around it to protect the rest of the city. Brick Mansions, once a place of great prosperity, is now a hellhole no man or woman should venture into.

To take down Tremaine though, Damien will need help. Lino Dupree is an in and out con who isn't really a bad guy, but more of a victim of circumstance. As a resident, he knows Brick Mansions like the back of his hand. For Lino, it becomes personal when his girlfriend is taken hostage by Tremaine. To save Detroit and exact revenge, the reluctant duo must come together for a common cause.

Brick Mansions is not going to blow anyone away, which should not be appalling looking at the trailers. It really does possess a straight to home media vibe, from the cast to the direction. But you know what? I did not think it was completely terrible and dare I say I was still kind of entertained, all because I knew what I was getting into. In no way does this absolve the film's problems, and it was not worth 11 dollars, but I have felt much worse spending my hard earned cash on other cinema films.

Let's get right down to the acting, specifically Paul Walker's in his last full role. It is not controversial to call Mr. Walker an average actor, and many of the roles and movies he starred in were never that acclaimed. He knew his limitations, and there is no fault in that. One thing he often had in most roles though was screen presence and silent charisma, which is evident here. It may sound politically correct, but he really is the best thing about Brick Mansions. Likable, endearing, and just a good guy to pull for.

As for the rest of the acting, it is downright abysmal. Maybe a quarter of this is due to the dreadful dialogue, which falls into the typical hard sounding thug talk that is supposed to be realistic and fear- invoking, but comes off as dated and hilarious. David Belle, one of the founders of Parkour, brings amazing physical feats to the silver screen, but his acting chops are nonexistent. To add insult to injury, he clearly struggles with the English language which ends up resulting in horribly dubbed dialogue.

Still, he is not the worst actor in this movie. That title indisputably belongs to RZA. His Tremaine is supposed to be menacing and unflinching, but time and time again he brings the same facial expression to the character, and the dialogue delivered by him may be the worst heard all year. He has no thespian talent, plain and simple, and it is time that Hollywood stop giving this man so many chances. Honestly, there are worse actors present, especially RZA's main henchman who is just as offensive, but none have the billing that RZA does in this.

The plot itself is nothing to write home about, and is somewhat absurd and slightly predictable. Just take it for what it is. There are times late when the movie makes thinly veiled allusions to present day Detroit and the Occupy Wall Street movement, but it basically is a popcorn movie existing to showcase guns, stunts, and fisticuffs. The only big issue had is that everything wraps up too nicely given that the movie was a full on war moments before. As a whole, it is nothing that hasn't been done or seen previously (and better at that), but at least it only last 90 minutes.

There really are some well done set pieces from time to time. Parkour may be a passing fad now, but when done right, it is still a treat to witness, and David Belle moves effortlessly between chasms and rooftops seamlessly. Paul Walker provides more hand to hand and firearm combat, and he looks right at home in this element. Problem is, director Camille Delamarre (Taken 2, Transporter 3, Columbiana) uses terrible framing and janky editing during a lot of these scenes. It is quite sad, as Belle and Walker are clearly doing some good things. For some asinine reason though, this man insists that wobbly framing, needless zooms and archaic Matrix-like slow motion is needed. Not all looked bad, but a more consistent steady hand could have worked wonders.

Brick Mansions is unimpressive, but crazy to say, also enjoyable. Heavily flawed, but entertaining (in a bad way half of the time) and fast paced enough to check out through rental or Netflix. Non action fans should avoid at all costs. With tempered expectations though, Walker fans and action fans may find enough here for mild satisfaction. A perfect film to throw on in the background and not think too much.

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A mediocre action movie elevated due to Walker's tragic death5/10
Brick Mansions has the title of being Paul Walker's last completed film before he passed away last year. It's weird watching this film with its car chases and not think of Paul Walker's fatal crash, but that's what he was good at. As for the movie, I hope Fast Seven delivers because I don't want this film to be Walker's last movie since it's the definition of mediocre.

Good: I liked Walker and Belle here as our lead duo. They worked well together and they had fun banter. Belle who is the creator of parkour showed off his skills and it led to some fun action scenes here. It moves at a good pace and it never gets dull.

Bad: It's just terribly mediocre though. I haven't seen the original this remake is based on, but the movie just felt like a VOD action movie more than something worth to put in theaters whether it had Walker or not. The plot is pedestrian, RZA as a villain is both laughable and lame, some painfully obvious CG, and just a lack of structure connecting the dots. Plus, that ending was really corny.

Overall, this was a time waster. Fun action here and there, but nothing to really invest in and probably wouldn't have gotten much attention had Walker not pass away. I'd say wait for Fast Seven to really honor Walker's career.
Better watch the ORIGINAL!!!2/10
This movie is a bad REMAKE of the original french production: "Banlieue 13" ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0414852/ )...

And believe when I say that it's not worth your time! The first movie has better acting and story! That is obvious by comparing the ratings of both monies... And to top that of, in the second movie they changed some details that you know "made sense"!!!

All in all, i recommend to anyone to watch the first movie! And i guarantee that you enjoy 84 minutes packed with action, free running, shooting and fighting...

ENJOY!