Set in 2018, in a dystopian Detroit (as if there is any other kind), Paul Walker stars as Damien – a hot shot undercover detective looking for revenge. He has spent all of his energy chasing down the people responsible for his father’s death, and it looks like he has a chance to settle the score with the last survivor.
Tremaine (RZA) is the crime lord of Brick Mansions – a housing project so overrun with lawlessness and violence the city set up a blockade around it (and, if Detroit is afraid of this place, it must be one of Dante’s Circles of Hell). Tremaine has obtained a bomb, and Damien is supposed to go in and retrieve it for the authorities, which suits our super cop just fine, because this crime lord is the man he conveniently is seeking. Of course, Damien can’t do it alone, so he has been teamed up with a vigilante, Lino (David Belle), who has his own agenda.
Can Damien and Lino work together?
Will Damien be able to obtain his revenge on Tremaine?
What is Lino trying to accomplish?
Brick Mansions is full of slow motion fight scenes, explosions, car chases, cool stunts and women dressed very provocatively, but it takes so much more than that to make a good movie.
Director Camille Delamarre and writers Luc Besson and Bibi Naceri know how to make a movie that looks good and will appeal to basic instincts, but that’s where the praise ends. The plot is a jumble of junk as they come up with the most convoluted way to team up Lino and Damien, and take far too long to do it.
Then, Brick Mansions feels like two movies clumsily cobbled together into one. You can almost surmise we have one movie the creators wanted to make. Then, someone felt the need to get Paul Walker into this film to sell some tickets, so they came up with a crazy story for him without regard to how it meshed with the other one. Amazingly enough, Brick Mansions is based on a French film that also starred Belle, so someone did this once before and figured it would work a second time. Did it work the first time? Did those two actors have better chemistry than Walker and Belle? I hope so, because these two don’t fit together.
Worst of all, most of the characters, especially our bad guys, are horribly cartoonish. Each one sounds stupid when given some joke or wise acre comment, and it doesn’t help when the audience realizes how horrendous these lines sound and mockingly laugh at the people on the screen. This is not the good laughter the producers were hoping for.
Brick Mansions needs to be torn down and rebuilt.
Brick Mansions is rated PG-13 for frenetic gunplay, violence and action throughout, language, sexual menace and drug material.