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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Brick Mansions (2014)


Though parkour got determined “uncool” once everybody jumped ship to this whole YouTube thing.

In a dystopian Detroit (aka, present-day Detroit), numerous abandoned brick mansions have been left for all sorts of criminals to stay, linger and just do what it is that they do best: Commit illegal activity. But since they’re separated from the rest of middle-class society, it doesn’t really matter, which is a strategy the Mayor clearly takes pride in, even if its with rather demented intentions. Regardless, inside these brick mansions lies drug-lord Tremaine Alexander (RZA) who has been looked after by the FBI for quite some time, in particular, undercover agent Damien Collier (Paul Walker). Reason being? Well, let’s just say that Tremaine had a little bit of something to do with the death of Collier’s death; which is exactly why he doesn’t say “no” to a raid that would include Damien taking him down, once and for all. The only hitch is that he has to go in there to detach a bomb, but also, to get a better feel for the ragged, musty apartments he will soon be venturing into, he has to go with someone whose lived there for quite some time. Enter Lino Dupree (David Belle), a parkour champion that wants to get his woman, as well as his respect back, even if it may come at a price by teaming-up with a cop.

It may be no news to anyone out there, but I’m going to restate it again: Paul Walker did in fact pass-away last December, and he left behind this movie as his last, fully-filmed piece-of-work. Sure, he has some scenes in the upcoming Fast & Furious installment, but apparently they’re doing some weird stuff with his brother or something that I’m not too sure will work, but either way, that’s only a few scenes; this right here, Brick Mansions, is a full movie. So for that, it should definitely be seen.

That's not Rick Ross! So don't get your panties all up in a bunch about how RZA's "turning to the darkside".

That’s not Rick Ross! So don’t anyone get their panties all up in a bunch about how RZA’s “turning to the darkside”.

And of course, in most cases, some movie being some person’s final film wouldn’t mean diddly-squat in whether or not it should be seen, but in the case of this, it actually deserves to be seen more for what it does, rather than who is in it.

See, even though this is a movie that is downright, utterly idiotic in every way, it knows it is. So, rather than just trying to go for a heavier-meaning and be something that it’s not, the movie just sticks to the basics: Be fast, fun, exciting and don’t linger too much on the over-the-top plot. And for the most part, the movie does all of that so well that I never cared how preposterous this story got. For instance, there’s a nuke in this that gets directed towards Detroit for no other reason other to than just kill a whole bunch of people. It doesn’t make any sense, and even the villain himself, doesn’t really fully believe in it. But it’s a movie, so why the hell not!

That’s why you can’t go into a movie like this and expect something life-changing or thought-provoking, just go into it expecting to have a great time and not even worry about what else is going on with the world around you. All there is to a movie like this, is what’s in front of you and how well-done the display is. Sure, the camera does get a bit frigidity at times and the dialogue more than often sounds like somebody taped a person’s lips moving, only to then add their own voices in at a later-date (Especially whenever David Belle has to deliver lines), but still, it’s all meaningless stuff that’s easy to get by. So basically, just enjoy the damn show is what I am trying to say. As simple and easy as that.

However, like I was talking about before, the one aspect surrounding this movie that’s a bit hard to get past is the fact that yes, Paul Walker is gone from our world, and even worse, is gone because of a car-crash he was involved in. Which, yes, if you love to be “that guy”, is ironic, but also in the front of your mind when watching something like this, considering he has about one or two scenes where he, and the car he’s driving is in the process of being involve with a crash. Heck, he even screams in absolute fear at one point, if only to make us feel even worse for what we’re watching.

Pssht! I could do that if I wanted to.

Pssht! I could do that if I wanted to.

Though that’s only one or two scenes of this whole nearly-hour-and-a-half-movie, it should be noted that it does make you think about his death and how really sad it is, even if he wasn’t always the best actor out there. But talented actor or not, the guy was fine with what he did, which was just staring into space, delivering a tough-guy line every so often, and doing whatever silly, over-the-top action-stuff he was told to do, with precision that made it seem like he could do that type of stuff for the rest of his life and never get bothered with it. It’s a shame we’ll never get to see that actually happen, but it’s nice to see a movie like this that shows us what he did so well in the first place and why, even though he wasn’t necessarily an “acting legend”, was definitely the kind of guy you could get for this type of movie and actually count on to give you 110%, each and every time.

Yes, I know that some may be wondering if this is actually being written from me or some sort of Paul Walker-sympathizer, but nope, this truly is Dan O’Neill and I am truly sad about the passing of Paul Walker. He wasn’t amazing, but he was able to do whatever somebody threw at him. And in the world of film, that means a lot. A whole heck of a lot, actually.

Consensus: On the outside, Brick Mansions is incredibly dumb, and on the inside, it’s even more dumb, but it doesn’t matter because of how much fun it seems to be having with its B-grade plot, special-effects, action and idea of not wanting to last in your mind long enough, but just wants to give you a good enough time. Also, it wants you to remember Paul Walker, and the talent he was, even if he wasn’t all that flashy to begin with.

6.5 / 10 = Rental!!

Oh, Paul. You were such a hunk. You will be missed.

Oh, Paul. You were such a hunk. Even while carrying a deadly-weapon. You will be missed.

Photo’s Credit to: IMDBColliderJobloComingSoon.net

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21 responses to “Brick Mansions (2014)

  1. teny April 26, 2014 at 4:17 am

    Will watch this for Paul Walker. This surely seems to have highly enjoyable dumbness :D
    Nice review :)

  2. Chris April 26, 2014 at 5:57 am

    Yeah, this movie doesn’t get a pass from me, Dan. Sure, it was overly silly and unintentionally goofy, but by the end, it also proved to be unfathomably, unforgivably, and insultingly stupid on top of that. This movie was just bad, which is a shame. Paul Walker deserved to go out on a higher note, and he actually did have that with his previous film, Hours (which NOBODY SAW!).

  3. The Hot Rod April 26, 2014 at 6:58 am

    This film is based on the original French parkour series, B13, which is a far superior film in the vein of a crazy The Raid styled action flick only with jumping. If you get to see the original film, you’ll enjoy that a whole lot more.

  4. The Hot Rod April 26, 2014 at 7:00 am

    And by B13 I mean D13 (stupid autocorrect) and so in the interests of accuracy here’s my review of the .french version…

    http://www.fernbyfilms.com/2010/05/27/movie-review-district-13/

  5. The Geek Mind April 26, 2014 at 10:04 am

    I want to see this but I’ve seen the original, District B13. The trailer for this is almost an exact match – scene by scene with David Belle playing almost the exact same character! Probably not worth the cinema trip but will watch because of Paul Walker. Fast and Furious films won’t be the same again :(

  6. MovieManJackson April 26, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Nice review Dan and we seem to agree. It’s dumb and horrid acting/delivery from most not named Paul (who is entertaining but not stellar)..and yet it is still fun. Despite the editing, solid action. Hell, may even buy on Blu-Ray when it drops. Better than any other new release this week.

  7. Jade April 26, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    I loved Banlieue 13, so I was miffed when they decided to remake it. I’ll probably catch it for David Belle’s parkour stunts though. Thanks for the review! :)

  8. Tom April 27, 2014 at 7:38 am

    Nice review.

    But I didn’t think nearly as much of it as you did, though I’m pumped you were able to relax and enjoy it for the stupid fun I suppose it was. I mainly thought it was too boring and too stupid to even enjoy on that level, but I wish I could have. If anything, though the movie was really bittersweet for the Paul Walker factor. The end had me welling up a bit

  9. thomasjford April 27, 2014 at 8:03 am

    It’s sad about Paul Walker, but. I’ll be honest, I have never seen any of his movies! Not a F&F or anything else!

  10. Russel DDK April 27, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Nowhere near as good as the French original, “District 13″. Wish “Hours” would have been Walker’s swansong.

    Good review, Dan.

  11. shazza91321 April 30, 2014 at 6:01 am

    Yeah, I have the same tenor as the rest of the comments about Paul Walker, it’s sad that he’s gone, but since he was somewhat of a predator of young girls and I am a mother of a girl, my sympathy lies more with his daughter. I saw the french version which was silly as well but good.

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