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Brick Mansions (Movie Review)


The “1-4-0″: Full of subpar acting, a ludicrous plot and flimsy dialogue, #BrickMansions hoisted up a cinematic brick.

The Gist: In this remake of the French action movie District B13 and Paul Walker’s final complete film, corrupt city politicians fool an undercover cop to unite with an ex-pat to destroy a low-income neighborhood to redevelop the land into mansions.

The Highlights: The Parkour action sequences are the only thing I can point to that captured my attention. But as you’ll hear later on, the original showcases the best Parkour action in film. It really is impressive to watch.

The Lowlights: Overall bad acting, laughable dialogue and second rate production and directing. This movie boasts some of the worst acting I’ve seen all year, in particular, that of rapper RZA. After I saw him in “The Man with the Iron Fists,” I could have sworn he would never be hired to act again in a co-star role. I was obviously wrong. Bloodshot eyes should describe how I looked by the time the film was over. The defunct Paul Walker did his best here, but the script failed him. Walker, the man, is tough not to love, but to be sincere, I have always felt that he was limited in the acting category. Nevertheless, he managed to reverse this shortcoming by being handsome and charming. One trait he never really mastered, and is more than evident here, is his hand to hand combat skills. Alas, this is a limitation not even his charms can overcome. In his directorial debut, Camille Delamarre who will also direct “Transporter 4″ next, shows nothing special to praise. His shot selections are standard to the action fare business and copies much of director Pierre Morel did in the original. Screenwriters Luc Besson and Bibi Naceri try to be cute with the lines, but it comes off lame and forgettable. 

Pay or Nay?: Nay. This remake pales in comparison to the original which was energetic, innovative and fun. Frankly, this American version should have gone straight to DVD. With Walker’s death, I know there is a curiosity to see his final works, but you can catch this on DVD which will sadly happen sooner than later.

Rated: PG-13 for frenetic gunplay, violence and action throughout, language, sexual menace and drug material
Release Date: April 25, 2014
Screenplay: Luc Besson, Bibi Naceri
Director(s): Camille Delamarre
Starring: Paul Walker, David Belle, RZA, Catalina Denis
Distributor: Relativity Media
Film Genre: Action

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