Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Camille Delamarre's "Brick Mansions" - Action And Nothing Else

Detroit, 2018, is one of squalor, entropy, and lawlessness. In the dystopian district of the Brick Mansions, once progressive but now occupied by hardened criminals and low lives, a containment wall separates the public from these criminals. Undercover drug agent Damien Collier (Paul Walker) is keen to bring down drug kingpin Tremaine Alexander (RZA). But with a heavy coterie of thugs surrounding the latter, that’s not the easiest of tasks.

Meanwhile, Lino Dupree (David Belle) wants to clean up his community by interfering with the drug shipments. This doesn't put him in good stead with Tremaine who then kidnaps Lino’s girl friend. Things come to a head when a neutron bomb gets stolen and taken to the mansions. It detonates in 10 hours. Damien and Lino must come together to secure the bomb which is now under the care of the drug lord. Will they succeed before everything’s too late?

The first 15 minutes of the film will have you wide eyed and open mouthed. Lino gracefully sashays with his parkour skills, gliding on walls and staircases light as a feather as he escapes from thugs. He then jumps out of the building, swings by the ledge and straight into the window a floor under. But then David Belle is the founder of Parkour, so that's no surprise. And who needs spider web when you can be a super hero without wearing spandex?

Action is so fluid it washes you with a drum of adrenaline. Unfortunately, not all that’s kinetic makes good sense. In fact, there’s not much story to hang on to. The movie further highlights more action: watch two cars hit head on, missing both Damien and Lino while the guys tumble on the air and land on their feet unscathed. If you’re into heavy action, you’d probably enjoy this. Just leave common sense out of the picture. You’re also well likely to compare this to the claustrophobic atmosphere of “The Raid”, but all comparison stops there. This is an inferior version. Way, way, way inferior.

Delamarre’sBrick Mansions” is a remake of a 2004 French movie called “District 13” that also had David Belle playing the same character with a slightly different name “Leito” (instead of “Lino”). How does it feel to repeat yourself 10 years later? We better ask Mr. Belle. Better yet, let's ask airhead Kris Aquino to interview Belle so she could once again namedrop her vomit-inducing "My Little Bossings". What's funnier, "Brick Mansions" seems like a masterpiece beside that piece of shameful cinematic turd. Sometimes, there's no accounting for taste.

Paul Walker did better in Eric Heisserer's flood drama, " Hours".

The founder of Parkour, David Belle glides effortlessly for his parkour stunts.


Anonymous said...

so kris aquino is actually proud of my little bossings? wow!
that is so absurd its funny and ultimately sad. people living in very big bubbles - juan

Cathy Pena said...

It's no surprise really, Juan. Kris is a proud airhead. LOL