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DVD Review – Brick Mansions

3 min read

Taking the old trope of mismatched partners in order to take down the bad guy is an everyday ingredient in most action films. Such is the case with Brick Mansions, incorporating all the key ingredients that make an action flick enjoyable, with also a hint of something different that gives it a little edge over the competition.

Brick Mansions DVDSet in the near future, the city of Detroit has built a giant wall around an estate known as the Brick Mansions and kept it guarded from the general public. This area of course houses your everyday drug dealers, crime lords and the like to make one little happy neighbourhood. Cue one half of our crime fighting duo Lino (David Belle) who has a bone to pick with self-appointed mayor of Brick Mansions, Tremaine Alexander (RZA) after he kidnaps Lino’s girlfriend Lola (Catalina Denis). Undercover cop Damien Collier (Paul Walker) is sent in to work with Lino in order to stop Tremaine’s plot to bomb the outer city. Only problem is Collier has a personal vendetta against the drug lord for the alleged murder of his father some years earlier. Thus ensues many fight scenes and kind of funny one liners that are the makeup of any good action movie, present company included.

Although this movie is great on many levels, it will probably always be remembered first and foremost as Paul Walkers’ final, full screen performance, having passed away last year. This movie serves as a testament to how we remember Walker as an actor: the good-guy, stoic and strong in his performance armed with a grin that melted women, and some men’s, hearts everywhere. Here he is at his All-American boy best, and it’s both thrilling and painful to watch his performance. His chemistry with partner-in-crime Belle is sometimes awkward, but mostly they vibe off each other like any good budding cop pairing should, and it’s great to see Walker revel in what he does best. And guys, as an added bonus a girl-on-girl fight scene between Denis and a very scary, very violent Ayisha Issa as Tremaine’s right hand woman Rayzah is available for your viewing pleasure, as it served no real purpose to the overall plot and was bordering on unnecessary, depending on your viewpoint.

The best, and my personal favourite, part of this movie was the incorporation of the popular craze Parkour, which was founded by Belle some years earlier. Credit has to go to director Camille Delamarre for incorporating some of the natural talents of her cast into the flick, as it gives Walker and Belle to thrive in these particular scenes. The choreography and athletic prowess it takes to even do half the things Belle does is not only visually amazing, but also creates new and innovative fight sequences that are refreshing to watch, especially those involving Walker.

It will come as no shock to anyone that there is in no way, shape or form, award winning performances in this movie. But this isn’t a film seeking the approval of the Hollywood Foreign Press, but rather Brick Mansions is there to entertain and thrill audiences with its fresh take on your everyday action film. Yes, the cheesy dialogue makes an appearance every so often, but as a whole I enjoyed this movie more than I anticipated to, which was an unexpected pleasure.