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4/10
Not nearly as good as the original French film
bravesfanc27 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I personally thought the original French film "District B13" was great so when I first saw the preview for this I was excited especially with David Belle reprising his role. But maybe all that excitement got my hopes a little bit too high because I was very disappointed with this American version.

My first real problem was the fact that Belle's voice is dubbed. They shoot it in a way so that when his character has dialogue, his mouth is hardly visible and when it is visible, the words don't match what he's saying. It's similar to what happened in "Enter The Dragon" when the main bad guy's lines were all dubbed. I figured maybe since he was in the movie, he was able to speak some English.

In the original Paul Walker's character Damien, seems to have more skill with hand to hand combat. Walker isn't a martial artists and the fight scenes he has are your typical American cop type of fights. The one thing Paul Walker did was act. He and Belle were the only actors who can actually act. What I mean by that is the secondary characters were horrendous! B acting at best, I've seen better on the Scify channel.

My expectations were probably a bit too high and because of that I couldn't enjoy this all that much. The ending is also different in this movie and I disagree with it. The French film is so much better on so many levels. Skip this and watch District B13.
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6/10
So-so remake with plenty of frantic action , expert stunts and breathtaking scenes
ma-cortes4 January 2015
Acceptable remake filled with nail-biting action , thrills , spectacular scenes and plot twists . It deals with an undercover Detroit cop (Paul Walker) navigates a dangerous neighborhood that's surrounded by a containment wall with the help of an ex-con in order to bring down a crime lord and his plot to devastate the entire city . Thrilling and violent movie with a phenomenal starring pair and in which Paul Walker and David Belle cast all the Stuntmen themselves . Set in the rundown ghettos of Detroit , Michigan , when an undercover cop and an ex-thug try to infiltrate into a block , a police precinct and Town Hall in order to save their barrios when some enemies are bent on destroying the tower blocks at the heart of the District with tactical precision bombing . As Damien Collier (Paul Walker) and Lino (David Belle , the originator of Le Parkour) are reunited upon to avoid a bombing on destroying the blocks at the heart of District and save the city . They have to confront a dangerous delinquent called Tremain (RZA) , corrupt Police Chief from the Department of Internal State Security , and even the highest authorities , including the Mayor (Bruce Ramsay) . With acrobatic skillfulness and adrenaline pumping belief in their own abilities , they throw themselves out from incredible heights, and jump from roof to roof ; locked doors and 'No Trespassing' signs become irresistible challenges . They face off their enemies in order to avoid the total destruction their district , as Damien and Lito convince the gang lords to band together to prevent it when the high command authorizing the strike .

¨Brick Mansions ¨ is an amazing film that packs suspense , thrills, noisy action , shootouts and violent fights . This film is a remake of the French film "District B13" which stars David Belle in the same role as in this movie and again the main couple is unabashed in its dedication to fanboy stunt work . From the beginning to the final the noisy action and fast movement is unstopped , including impressive scenes in which bounds and leaps through apartments blocks and at moments give the impression that they are flying . This is a frenetic rehash of ¨Escape from NY¨ and ¨District 13¨ rightly realized in American style . The highlights of the movie are overwhelming fights and The Parkour , also known in USA as Free Running whose origin was in ¨Yamasaki¨ film directed by Ariel Zeitoun , Julien Seri and also produced by Luc Besson with his production company called ¨EuropaCorps¨ . Paul Walker as a hard-rock , two-fisted agent is top-notch . Duo protagonist , Paul Walker and David Belle , more than make up for in an skill to soar across a rolling medley highrise flats blocks . The way in which the actors prove this abilities , is in fact an activity called Parkour and was invented by David Belle himself , influenced by his father Raymond Belle . David Belle also choreographed some fight sequences . Paul Walker and David Belle had several months to prepare all their fight stunts for the film . Paul Walker stared in "Running Scared" (2006) as an undercover cop , the same role he played in "Brick Mansions" (2014), it's also the character he performed in "The Fast and the Furious" (2001) as Brian O'Connor . Paul Walker's last fully completed acting , although his final film performance was in Fast & Furious 7 which he was filming at the time of his death . In fact , the ending title has a beloved homage : ¨In loving memory of Paul Walker¨ . Good and atmospheric cinematography using Steadicam and zooms with numerous locations from Detroit skyline and slums ; being shot on location in Detroit , Michigan and Montreal , Quebec , Canada . Adequate production design , as the Gate 38 location was also used in Death Race (2008) as a part of the race track . There is an appropriate as well as colorful cinematography by Christophe Collette . The musician Trevor Morris creates a stirring , rousing soundtrack fitting to moving action . Lavishly produced by Ryan Kavanaugh and the successful French producer/director Luc Besson who formerly produced the French versions , these are the followings : District 13 or Banlieue 13 (original title) (2004) by Pierre Morel with Cyrill Raffaelli , David Belle and District 13: Ultimatum or Banlieue 13: Ultimatum (original title)(2009) by Patrick Alessandrin with Cyril Raffaelli , David Belle and Philippe Torreton.

¨Brick mansions¨ was professionally realized by Camille Delamare though with no originality . Filmmaker Camille gives the action a dance-like quality and the whole movie lasted various months for production , idea , script , casting , filming, etc . Rating : Passable and acceptable , though inferior sequel . well worth seeing , this is an agreeable follow-up . The picture will appeal to explosive action fans .
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6/10
original was better
fraser_reid267 May 2014
I saw the original back in 2006 and absolutely loved it and its sequel. I had high expectations for this purely because I always wished they had made a third and when I saw Paul Walker was involved I had hoped this remake would be on par or better. Unfortunately I was wrong. While Brick Mansions is not a terrible film my viewing was ruined due to my love of the first one which this is almost a shot for shot copy of. My love of the French original may have set the bar too high it seems. Also my only major personal gripe is the voice dubbing of David belle. For some reason it struck a nerve with me and I could never really appreciate any scene. If you're looking for a good way to blow 2 hours or haven't seen the original by all means go see it but for myself this was just not what I had expected. Solid 6/10.
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2/10
Better watch the ORIGINAL!!!
Stelios Trevlakis23 June 2014
This movie is a bad REMAKE of the original french production: "Banlieue 13" ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0414852/ )...

And believe when I say that it's not worth your time! The first movie has better acting and story! That is obvious by comparing the ratings of both monies... And to top that of, in the second movie they changed some details that you know "made sense"!!!

All in all, i recommend to anyone to watch the first movie! And i guarantee that you enjoy 84 minutes packed with action, free running, shooting and fighting...

ENJOY!
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10/10
What more do you want?
ShootersReview21 August 2014
In terms of high velocity action, this movie has it in spades.

The original was awesome and so is this.

The filmography and editing is terrific and the action evolves at a fast pace.

I honestly have no idea how any one who just wants to enjoy a great action film with some super cool stunts wouldn't love this movie.

This really has some unique sequences in it, which should be seen.

The acting is good and Paul Walker is, well he's just Paul Walker, a really cool dude who I always enjoy watching.

Again just numb out and enjoy this terrific high throttle action film.
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2/10
A very Hollywood remake of District 13
netdragon69325 July 2014
I saw this picture not because is Paul Walker's last movie, but because it is David Belle's latest. Founder of Parkour, I already saw his amazing stunts in both District 13 movies, along with Cyril Raffaelli excellent action scenes where it shows all the training he's had with acrobatics, shotokan karate and wushu.

Except for Belle's updated stunts, there's nothing else to see here.

Over-explained characters, "softened" plot, sympathetic villains; if you want to know how Hollywood dumbs down movies there's nothing better than to watch this and the original District 13 back to back. From the use of camera speed to the editing of fight scenes, the original french movies are far superior.
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6/10
Brick Mansions is a mediocre, but moderately entertaining, remake
Argemaluco27 June 2014
Brick Mansions is a remake of the entertaining French film Banlieue 13, which was basically an exhibition of "parkour" structured around a screenplay inspired by Escape from New York. Brick Mansions moves the action to the United States, and adds Paul Walker as a co-star in order to have a famous name; and from the original film, it preserved the presence from David Belle in the role of an ex-convict with a golden heart whose incredible "abs" and acrobatic ability are indispensable for him to navigate the dangerous territory of Detroit, where the story is developed (even though, ironically, most of the film was shot in Canada). What it couldn't preserve was big part of the violence; it seems as if director Camille Delamarre didn't want to risk himself to an "R" rating, and he diluted the most extreme parts in order to obtain the more commercial "PG-13". Anyway, I found Brick Mansions mediocre, but moderately entertaining, despite the hollow characters and an improbable screenplay whose main function is finding excuses for the frequent fights, shootouts, car chases and, of course, the "parkour" scenes where Belle and his disciples can display their physical ability. Walker was given the dramatic scenes, and he made an adequate work, even though his character is quite similar to the one he developed in The Fast and the Furious saga. But anyway, since Brick Mansions is one of the last films from his filmography, there's no doubt that his character in here is consistent with the rest of it, and once more, he proves the histrionic growth he achieved, from his beginnings as a bland gallant until becoming a decent actor. For the rest, Brick Mansions didn't bore me, but it's mediocre, and I found Banlieue 13 much more intense and entertaining. Besides, I didn't like the decision of dubbing Belle's dialogs. I guess his accent was considered too French. Maybe, if he had been an Austrian, they would have let him speak English despite nobody understanding a word from him...
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6/10
A bad yet still enjoyable action flick in Paul Walker's final film.
mjack42129 April 2014
Dystopian Detroit. Criminal exploits. No name thugs. Guns and drugs. These are probably words, phrases, and tags seen before in other movies, and apt descriptors of Brick Mansions. The movie is a remake of 2004′s french title District B13 and stars the late Paul Walker as police officer Damien Collier. For about a year, Damien has been undercover looking to take down Tremaine (RZA), a kingpin who also killed Damien's father while he was in the line of duty.

Tremaine and crew reside in Brick Mansions, a place so dangerous they built a wall around it to protect the rest of the city. Brick Mansions, once a place of great prosperity, is now a hellhole no man or woman should venture into.

To take down Tremaine though, Damien will need help. Lino Dupree is an in and out con who isn't really a bad guy, but more of a victim of circumstance. As a resident, he knows Brick Mansions like the back of his hand. For Lino, it becomes personal when his girlfriend is taken hostage by Tremaine. To save Detroit and exact revenge, the reluctant duo must come together for a common cause.

Brick Mansions is not going to blow anyone away, which should not be appalling looking at the trailers. It really does possess a straight to home media vibe, from the cast to the direction. But you know what? I did not think it was completely terrible and dare I say I was still kind of entertained, all because I knew what I was getting into. In no way does this absolve the film's problems, and it was not worth 11 dollars, but I have felt much worse spending my hard earned cash on other cinema films.

Let's get right down to the acting, specifically Paul Walker's in his last full role. It is not controversial to call Mr. Walker an average actor, and many of the roles and movies he starred in were never that acclaimed. He knew his limitations, and there is no fault in that. One thing he often had in most roles though was screen presence and silent charisma, which is evident here. It may sound politically correct, but he really is the best thing about Brick Mansions. Likable, endearing, and just a good guy to pull for.

As for the rest of the acting, it is downright abysmal. Maybe a quarter of this is due to the dreadful dialogue, which falls into the typical hard sounding thug talk that is supposed to be realistic and fear- invoking, but comes off as dated and hilarious. David Belle, one of the founders of Parkour, brings amazing physical feats to the silver screen, but his acting chops are nonexistent. To add insult to injury, he clearly struggles with the English language which ends up resulting in horribly dubbed dialogue.

Still, he is not the worst actor in this movie. That title indisputably belongs to RZA. His Tremaine is supposed to be menacing and unflinching, but time and time again he brings the same facial expression to the character, and the dialogue delivered by him may be the worst heard all year. He has no thespian talent, plain and simple, and it is time that Hollywood stop giving this man so many chances. Honestly, there are worse actors present, especially RZA's main henchman who is just as offensive, but none have the billing that RZA does in this.

The plot itself is nothing to write home about, and is somewhat absurd and slightly predictable. Just take it for what it is. There are times late when the movie makes thinly veiled allusions to present day Detroit and the Occupy Wall Street movement, but it basically is a popcorn movie existing to showcase guns, stunts, and fisticuffs. The only big issue had is that everything wraps up too nicely given that the movie was a full on war moments before. As a whole, it is nothing that hasn't been done or seen previously (and better at that), but at least it only last 90 minutes.

There really are some well done set pieces from time to time. Parkour may be a passing fad now, but when done right, it is still a treat to witness, and David Belle moves effortlessly between chasms and rooftops seamlessly. Paul Walker provides more hand to hand and firearm combat, and he looks right at home in this element. Problem is, director Camille Delamarre (Taken 2, Transporter 3, Columbiana) uses terrible framing and janky editing during a lot of these scenes. It is quite sad, as Belle and Walker are clearly doing some good things. For some asinine reason though, this man insists that wobbly framing, needless zooms and archaic Matrix-like slow motion is needed. Not all looked bad, but a more consistent steady hand could have worked wonders.

Brick Mansions is unimpressive, but crazy to say, also enjoyable. Heavily flawed, but entertaining (in a bad way half of the time) and fast paced enough to check out through rental or Netflix. Non action fans should avoid at all costs. With tempered expectations though, Walker fans and action fans may find enough here for mild satisfaction. A perfect film to throw on in the background and not think too much.

Read more reviews at moviemanjackson.wordpress.com
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7/10
Not Strong on Plot But Nice Little Action Movie
steve beard25 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I saw "Brick Mansions", starring Paul Walker-The Fast & Furious movies, Flags of Our Fathers; David Belle-The Family, Babylon A.D., and FYI, he is French and the founder of Parkour, which he uses extensively in the movie; RZA-The Man With the Iron Fists, Ghost Dog:The Way of the Samurai and Catalina Denis-a Columbian actress that was in Sleepless Night, Taxi 4.

This is an action movie that is based on a French film called District B13, which also had David in it, playing the same part that he plays here. This is also Paul's last fully completed performance in a movie-he was working on Fast & Furious 7 when he died in a car crash in November of 2013. Luc Besson-The Taken & the Transporter movies-is the writer. Anyway, Paul plays a policeman in Detroit in the not-too-distant future of 2018, where a bad part of town called Brick Mansions is sealed off from the rest of the city by a containment wall-sort of like in Escape From New York. It's to keep all the crime elements inside, away from the descent people living in Detroit. RZA plays a drug lord/crime boss that runs things in Brick Mansions and gets real dangerous when he gets his hands on a Neutron bomb. David plays a local resident in Brick Mansions that does not like RZA selling drugs in his neighborhood so he does a hit and run number on him-he steals the drugs from RZA and destroys them-using his Parkour to stay one step ahead of them. Catalina plays the girlfriend-that-gets-captured-and-used-against-the-hero part pretty well. There is not much new here, as far as the plot goes, but there are lots of car chases, lots of gun battles and lots of fantastic looking Parkour to keep you occupied for an hour and a half , so I enjoyed it. It's rated "PG-13" for violence, language and drug content and has a running time of 1 hour & 30 minutes. It's a nice little action movie and I would buy it on Blu-Ray.
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6/10
Provides a decent hour and a 1/2 of mindless entertainment
A K27 April 2014
Considering I had never heard of this film until about a month before it's release and had low expectations for the movie initially, This movie did surprisingly provide a good hour and a half of B - movie entertainment.I hadn't seen the original film either, So I didn't have any biases to compare it to something else. Now seeing the trailer for district B13, it looks awesome and I'll definitely watch it and than compare the two films. "Brick Mansions" may not have had the best acting or original plot/characters , but it does provide on some inventive and cool action sequences. Parkour, martial arts, fights and eye candy for the guys to look at make the movie a watchable popcorn flick. The stunts and action sequences, especially with David Belle is what stood out and made a fun movie. Only one thing would have made the movie better and that was if it had been rated R. A little more blood and gore shown would have definitely made it a more high impact action flick. Overall, If your looking for a simple and not so demanding action film for a quick 90 mins, I'd recommend it. Take it for what it is and keep your expectations appropriate for a movie like this.

6/10
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3/10
Poor Legacy of Paul Walker's Filmography
Claudio Carvalho28 August 2014
"Banlieue 13" was one of the best surprises I had in 2004. This movie is pure adrenaline; actually one of the best action movies that I have recently seen. The greatest attractions are the performances of David Belle and Cyril Raffaelli. David Belle is co-inventor of the sport known as Parkour, "which consists of moving freely in a natural area, including climbing on buildings and taking on whatever is in the way". Cyril Raffaelli is also stunt coordinator and stunt. Together, they are awesome, with amazing choreography that recalls Jackie Chan when he was young. The direction and the story are also good, hooking the attention until the very last scene.

"Brick Mansions" is a bad remake or "copy-paste" and a poor legacy of Paul Walker's filmography. He did not deserve this turkey as his last (and least) movie. My vote is three.

Title (Brazil): "13° Distrito" ("13th District")
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6/10
Nothing groundbreaking but still fairly fun.
RevRonster24 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I never saw the original French film this movie was based on but after watching "Brick Mansions" I kinda want to.

The story is pretty solid (although it had an undeniable 90's action film vibe for me) and the action is very satisfying—complete with some cool parkour stuff that would result in me breaking my neck and soiling my pants if I ever tried them. RZA is a little underwhelming in the film since I really have a hard time taking him seriously as an actor because I don't find him convincing but as the film progresses and his character develops he gets a little better and I had an easier time dealing with him than I do in other films.

Paul Walker was very good in this film and did a tremendous job in his role even though we've seen him play an undercover cop quite a few times before. Finally, star of the original film David Belle is very cool to watch as he does his own parkour stunts and he and Walker had some great chemistry that kept the film from taking itself too serious and helped making it more fun than dark.

"Brick Mansions" might not be the best action film I've seen but it was definitely entertaining and not a bad film to be Walker's final finished product.

Hello, friend! The name is Rev. Ron and if you feel like reading more of my rants, ramblings, bad jokes, geek references, and other movie reviews (like a more in-depth look at "Brick Mansions" and other films that are foreign remakes) you can visit my blog at revronmovies.blogspot.com. If you don't want to do that because you're trying to hurl donuts like Frisbees (we've all been there), you don't need to visit.
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7/10
Nifty little action film. The late Paul Walker doesn't go out with a bang. However, he certainly doesn't go out with a whimper.
viewsonfilm.com7 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Brick mansions according to this sugar junked 2014 release, refer to the rotted out areas in Detroit where governmental hygiene and the law in general, don't exist. These mansions are surrounded by a wall (just think of the outlining containment in 1981's Escape from New York but without the prison tie-ins), provide housing for the most despicable criminals imaginable, and even have normal, decent (yet poor) civilians living there as well. Brick Mansions (the film I'm reviewing) is about brick mansions. And it's a quick, relentless, almost ridiculous little action collage. But it's energized and entertaining not to mention fused with a nifty little twist of an ending. Oh and it's got a pretty cool movie title too.

Touted as a remake of the 2004 french film District 13 and solidifying itself as one of the late Paul Walker's last cinematic outings, Brick Mansions enters the buddy action genre by teaming up a decorated Detroit, MI cop with a misunderstood, hard up ex-convict. Walker plays officer Damien Collier and David Belle plays the resourceful, street minded, Lino Dupree. Together, they must stop a disastrous event by infiltrating the highly desolate quote unquote, "mansions" and destroying a nuclear rocket built to be launched thereby leaving Detroit in ruins. Crime lord Tremaine Alexander (played feverishly by RZA) is the keeper of this dangerous device and wants $30 million dollars in return for disarming it. This is the gist of what's going on and while the plot elements seem interesting, they sometimes get lost in the muck due to an enormous amount of non-stop (almost unnecessary), bloodless, gore-less, yet pulsating action sequences.

The action in Brick Mansions consists of exhausting fistfights, standard car chases, foot chases, shootouts, and a couple of mild torture scenes. Everything is done in a tasteful, steadily violent (and surprisingly profanity-free) PG-13 vein. I mean, you get a little bit of everything and almost too much of it. The dialogue spoken by the cast feels a little juvenile at times (as if it was written by an immature teenager). But it's also sort of meaty and macho while coming off as unabashedly tongue-in-cheek. Director Delamarre, a first timer, exhibits something that is ADHD enhanced. He's made a down-and-dirty hip hop video in which he films a lot of actor close-ups, edits in cuts that are lightning quick, showcases tons of slow motion stuff, and even shows fights with plenty of jittery camera-work when needed. While doing this though, he sometimes slips in the development of the characters and the overall plot.

Now as mentioned earlier, this film is defiantly an action collage, a sort of greatest hits collection featuring the best ways to defeat your enemy through tingling martial arts. The action scenes while impressive, seem overused and sort of overshadow what exactly is going on making things a bit murky. Nevertheless, they reminded me of the first ten minutes of 2006's Casino Royale, certain parts of the 1985 flop, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, and even the dance flick, Step Up. The ominous butt kicking by Walker and Maillet as the action buddy duo, seemed kind of poetic, or ballet-like. And the sort of moves they display and their outfits gave off the whole West Side Story vibe if you know what I mean (simple jeans and t-shirts folks).

As for the performances, they are much stronger than in your typical mindless bullet-ridden fare. Paul Walker does just fine as an undercover, revenge-minded cop. His role is underdeveloped (every person's role is) but it's done with total ease. David Belle, not known initially for his acting (he's a stunt coordinator), does what's required and pulls off what female mixed martial artist Gina Carano did appearing in 2012's action thriller, Haywire. As for the best turn in Brick Mansions, I'd say that honor definitely goes to rapper turn thespian RZA. He's slick and savory, menacing and bull whipped as Tramaine Alexander. He's a villain with a surprising conscience and a glaring stare to boot.

In retrospect, everyone who sees this flick will probably pass judgement on star Paul Walker's lasting impression. Why, because it might be the last time moviegoers ever see him on the silver screen. And despite what I've heard or read about him in the past, I've never been that suspect of his acting ability in any capacity. He always had the X factor, quintessential movie star looks, and a feasible amount of effortless charisma. If you take away his work in The Fast and the Furious movies however, I'm not sure that he would've ever reached a level of super star status. Now do I think Brick Mansions is the ultimate sendoff for his contribution to Hollywood escapism? Not exactly. But it seems like a serviceable vehicle catering to what choices he made over a 20 year plus career in film.

Towards the conclusion of "Mansions" and during a tiny break in its tired action set pieces, Walker's Damien Collier utters the line, "different method, same result." He says this after crashing through a roof and evading would-be thugs. Well Paul, we'll all miss you on screen and your last film's method, I'd say it ain't so bad.
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7/10
Adequate
Neil Welch9 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
In the near future, the Brick Mansions section of Detroit has been walled off. Undercover cop Damien (Paul Walker, in his last completed role) is sent to defuse a nuclear device which is in the hands of gang boss Tremaine (played by someone who calls himself RZA), in which he is helped by maverick ex-con Lino (David Belle) who is looking for hi kidnapped girlfriend Lola (Catalina Denis).

This is a remake of a French(?) film. I didn't see it, so I'm ignoring that and looking at Brick Mansions on its own merits. Overall, this is a fairly routine action thriller with elements of Escape From New York - it passes 90 minutes satisfactorily, but without leaving any great impression. I always liked Paul Walker but never felt he climbed out of the Second Division, although he hovered around the promotion zone: in this film he is the best actor by a long way.

The main attraction, though, is the action sequences, particularly the parkour-based routines featuring Belle - these are amazingly choreographed, and a delight to watch.

The plot doesn't make much sense, and RZA's speech impediment goes some way towards weducing the level of thweat he pwojects.
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Once more, for Parkour - an unnecessary remake
sesht26 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Well, this belongs to the realm of completely unnecessary remakes, since the source material also was found wanting to begin with.

With that out of the way, a description can be made of the changes for this remake of 'Banlieu 13' or 'District 13':

  • Cyril Rafaelli, who was cast in the unnecessary sequel as well, is missed here, since he was an able Parkour counterpart to Belle in the original. Walker's visible lack of martial-arts talent is made more conspicuous because of this. The'sister' is now the 'ex-girlfriend'. - There is now a lady lesbian villianness. The 'dad' angle. The not-too-evil baddies. Badly choreographed Parkour and non-Parkour action sequences. Really sad, since this was the movie's apparent USP. An older, unenthusiastic David Belle.


The only person who seemed to be giving it all here is RZA, who chomps into his suave-looking bad guy role with gusto that could have been served better by its writers/makers. He did the same job in 'Protector 2', which was probably worse. Hope he gets better material in his next go-around.

The CGI's bad, the writing's bad, the production design's possibly some of the worst you can get, and this ideally should've been ignored on cable as well.

Feel sad for David Belle, and worse for 'Parkour'. Watch 'Banlieu 13' instead, or even the unnecessary sequel, and give this one a miss.
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6/10
Unnecessary remake but OK though
viceroy_8816 May 2014
I like the good cinematography, even the opening credits alone already made me liked it. David Belle is still very cool with his spins, back-flips, jumps and other stunts. It has been 10 years but I don't see any degradation of his parkour skills.

Paul Walker did good as Belle's partner-in-crime, even though he can't do parkour, he still kicked-ass. Catalina Dennis who plays Belle's girlfriend is consistent with her character, a tough girl who doesn't stand still with unfair treatments. The lousy one is RZA who plays the drug lord Tremain. Well, in my opinion he can't act, his face expression just doesn't make it.

For those who like parkour but haven't watched Banlieue 13, this might as well be in your watchlist. It's still okay even if you have watched Banlieue 13 (like me), because it was in French and it felt quite weird, even with subtitles.
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7/10
Everything made up of bricks isn't always rock solid!
HollywoodJunket30 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
  • Written by: Myles Warden for Hollywood Junket


Everything made up of bricks isn't always rock solid. "Brick Mansions" proves that. The action film starring the late Paul Walker is a remake of the 2004 French film "District 13". In it Paul Walker plays Officer Damien Collier from Detroit. It's a few years into the future and things have got even worse for inner city Detroit. I'm talking from "I got shot" bad to "I got shot and there's no hospitals" bad.

The government has decided to build walls around this area to keep people from going in and out and then to save money also decided to stop funding the basics such as hospitals, police, schools, etc. The poor area now known as Brick Mansions is basically being ran by a major drug dealer named Tremaine Alexander whose played by RZA (of the world famous Wu Tang Clan...More on that later). This guy is basically the wealthy king of a drug infested and broke down castle. His only opponent is a good (yet extremely tough) guy named Lino Dupree (David Belle) who is hell bent on stopping Tremaine and keeping drugs out of his neighborhood. This street smart and talented fighter is played by David Belle who actually starred in the original French film as well.

The good part of this film like most action films is indeed... You guessed it. THE ACTION. You can tell Paul Walker put forth 110% into nailing these brilliant and jaw dropping Parkour and Brazilian jiu jitsu moves. This style of movement and fighting is new to American audiences and Paul Walker was proud to introduce us to it in the best way possible. Having one of the eight founders, creators of the Parkour movement in Belle, helped tremendously and although he was retired from action films before this you could not tell at all. The 40-year-old moved around in this movie like a 20 year old Jackie Chan.

The bad part of this movie was the dialogue. Terrible and cliché dialogue ruined so many scenes for me. The dialogue was so over the top during a very pivotal part of the movie Tremaine, played by RZA (Wu-Tang Clan), emphatically states "Where I'm from cash rules everything around me." You don't have to be a huge Wu-Tang fan to get that reference from one of their most famous songs 'C.R.E.A.M." which stands for Cash Rules Everything Around Me. This quote and many others caused the entire audience to groan and chuckle during moments that were meant to be intense.

The movie wasn't all bad though besides the action sequences it actually had a decent story foundation. The characters had great motives and back stories. There were even a couple good plot twists that were woven into the story seamlessly yet somehow it all just didn't add up to a great film. Also, I love a happy ending more than most but something about this ending was almost "too happy." Full review and MORE reviews at: HollywoodJunket.com
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It possesses a palpable feeling of restraint in everything from the language to the bloodless slugfests.
GoneWithTheTwins24 April 2014
One of the primary elements that separate great action movies from mediocre ones is the crafting of engaging heroes and villains. "Brick Mansions" ignores this concept entirely. Instead, it prioritizes the action, clearly unwilling to be bothered with constructing adequate character development or even a brief history on its subjects that builds beyond the hasty citing of past events. Normally, this wouldn't be so disappointing, except that much of the fight choreography and parkour-infused chase sequences featured in the movie isn't nearly as creative or exciting as examples found in "District B13" (the film on which "Brick Mansions" is based).

To even greater detriment, save for the brief double takes and repeated shots from different angles, the overly kinetic camera-work and cutting stymies the view. The aversion to risk-taking extends to the overall tenacity of the picture as well, with a palpable feeling of restraint in everything from the language to the bloodless slugfests. Though the paper-thin characters exude invincibility, the audience wouldn't care if harm befell them anyway.

In the year 2018, undercover narcotics detective Damien Collier (Paul Walker) does whatever it takes to bring down the various drug runners that can lead him to the Detroit kingpin at the top of the food chain. Meanwhile, French-Caribbean ex-patriot Lino Dupree (David Belle) attempts to clean up the streets single-handedly by disrupting drug shipments and destroying product. When a neutron bomb is stolen from a military transport and brought to the heart of Detroit's Brick Mansions housing project, a once-glorious quarter of the city that now festers as a walled-off cesspool of crime and corruption, both men will be brought together to combat a common enemy. With less than ten hours before detonation, Damien and Lino must band together to locate and disarm the weapon that now rests in the clutches of arms dealer Tremaine Alexander (RZA), the ruthless criminal overlord who rules Brick Mansions with absolute power – and the man who has kidnapped Lino's ex-girlfriend Lola (Catalina Denis) as bait to trap his wily nemesis.

The parkour stunts are obviously the star of the film, though Walker getting behind the wheel for several chase sequences is of sentimental importance for the "Fast and Furious" star. Belle engages in all of the showy, acrobatic, escape artist evasive maneuvers, while Walker takes care of most of the rougher stuff. It's like clean, anti-combative martial arts versus old-fashioned street brawling, made more notable when the heavy contact engagements retain far less realism. It also detracts when the editing is so overtly reluctant to capture violence; the camera seems to look away when R rated material tries to enter the frame.

Expectedly, the plot tackles end-of-the-world scenarios (here, nuke the city), one-man-army characters, a mindless but distinctive ladder of lieutenants to do battle with (highlighted by giant Robert Maillet as Yeti), and a rugged heroin that is occasionally just as formidable as the men. There's commentary on Detroit's near-future, continued crumbling, the government's corruption and neglect of overseer responsibilities, and the connection between poverty, drugs, and crime. But what starts as satire ends in absolute mockery. As a tussle over a van plays out solely to introduce Damien and Lino's close-quarter capabilities, a girl-on-girl skirmish arises just for the sake of a catfight (neither one contributing to the storyline or its progression), and the unlikely partners become conveniently complementary soldiers, the film offers up random, action-oriented solutions to spontaneous dilemmas. The scripting is offensively generic and the conclusion is ludicrously tidy (as can be expected from the majority of Luc Besson screenplays post-"Taken"), presenting simple satisfaction over originality or awe – and, in the end, a forgettable outing.

  • The Massie Twins (GoneWithTheTwins.com)
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Very entertaining
Gordon-1114 August 2014
This film tells the story of a undercover police who infiltrates the most feared criminal world of the city, called Brick Mansions.

Right from the start, the stylish action scenes keep me engrossed. All the seemingly impossible, and almost acrobatic jumps are very impressive. They are quite unbelievable but in a good way, as it astonishes rather than making my eyes roll in disbelief. The plot is great, and there is even an unexpected plot twist which adds to the thrill and urgency to the race to save the city from mass destruction. The late Paul Walker did very well as a dedicated policeman who had his eyes on revenge. I enjoyed this film thoroughly, and I'm entertained throughout.
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7/10
An adrenaline-pumping parkour-based action thriller that is as sweet tribute to the memory of Paul Walker as it is a wowing introduction for French star David Belle
moviexclusive23 April 2014
'Brick Mansions' will forever be rememberedas Paul Walker's final completed film, the star best known for being one of the leads in the 'Fast and Furious' franchise still mourned after losing his life in a single car accident late last year. But were it not for Walker's death, it would most certainly be his French co-star David Belle's show instead, for 'Mansions' is without a doubt his calling card to Hollywood by giving them a taste of a certain brand of action called parkour.

For the uninitiated, parkour refers to a style of movement which utilises the body's momentum and maximises objects in the surroundings to enable a person to get around obstacles in the most efficient way possible. Belle happens to be one of the eight founders of the discipline, which was given prominence in Luc Besson's 'District 13' and its sequel 'District 13: Ultimatum' that Belle himself also starred in. Yes, 'Mansions' is Besson's English-language remake of his earlier 'District 13', with Belle returning to star as the unlikely partner of an undercover cop who wages war against a gang lord.

The names of the characters may have been tweaked a little - Belle's character, for instance, is now called Lino instead of the original's Leïto - but the story remains largely the same. Instead of a younger sister, it is Lino's ex-girlfriend Lola (Catalina Denis) who has been held hostage by the gang lord Tremaine Alexander (RZA) and his men, the former of whom is also the de facto leader of the titular neighbourhood. It is 2018, and within a post-industrial Detroit lies a criminal and junki-littered ghetto that is walled off from the rest of the city and guarded by the military.

A thrilling opening sequence which sets up the personal feud between Lino and Tremaine as the former evades the latter's henchmen led by K2 (Gouchy Boy) is as awesome an introduction as one can ask for to the art of parkour, which involves plenty of running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, rolling, quadrupedal movement and the like. Culminating in the detonation of a grenade as Belle leaps across the roof of one building to another, it's not hard to understand why the setup for Walker's narcotics agent Damian Collier - that sees him take down the drug kingpin George the Greek (Carlo Rota) - pales in comparison.

The raison d'être for their unlikely partnership is a neutron bomb which K2 has stolen from the city's authorities that is armed and aimed at downtown Detroit. Logic isn't the movie's strong suite of course, and you'd just have to accept that the city's hopes fall on a lone though decorated cop and an ex-convict. Once you get past that however, you'll start to appreciate the movie's small pleasures.

For one, Walker and Belle make a pretty cool tag-team, especially in scenes where they have to rely on each other to get out of a tight situation. The cardboard villains are also suitably over-the-top - in addition to the not so competent K2, Robert Maillet's appropriately named Yeti is a cartoonish but entertaining foil for our two protagonists. Denis is great eye candy for the male members of the audience, and looks absolutely stunning in a fetish-stimulating kind of way with her uniform getup. But of course, the attraction here remains the gravity-defying stunts, which Belle - and to a far less but no less significant extent, Walker - pulls off impressively. There isn't much that first-time feature director Camille Delamarre (who probably got the job by cutting his teeth as editor on notable Besson productions such as Taken 2, Colombiana and Transporter 3) adds to the picture, but he does know a thing or two for keeping the momentum of the film going by dialing up the action and keeping the exposition to a necessary minimum.

And really, to expect more of 'Brick Mansions' would certainly be unfair, for it aspires to be nothing more than an adrenaline-pumping diversion meant to introduce the grace and fluidity of the sport of parkour to a wider audience. That we can say the movie accomplishes beautifully, as well as in making a star out of David Belle. As for Walker, he does get behind the wheel for a couple of car chases, though some viewers will undoubtedly find that difficult to watch given the manner of his death. Still, it's as befitting a movie as any to the memory of Walker, but perhaps even more so as solid an introduction as any for his co-star Belle, and in its setting as well as its stunts as distinctive as one can ask for in an urban-based action movie.
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A great movie to have it as Paul Walker's Legacy
Woojin Lee14 May 2014
Brick Mansion, a Canadian-French movie directed by Camille Delamarre, is a remake of a movie called District B13. This movie specially features David Belle and Paul Walker. The movie sets off with a scene of Lino (David Belle) pouring all the cocaine into the bath tub like the movie District B13. He gets chased by the owners of the cocaine, and eventually gets caught.

What I like about the movie is the parkour. Other movies are just car chase scenes and such. But this movie is so unique that in chases, Lino uses parkour to get out of different conflicts. I think that most of the movie was about David Belle and his parkour. I personally love David Belle and his parkour videos in YouTube. And it was the first movie I've seen David Belle in action.

When it comes to acting, David Belle was kind of lacking in those aspects. Of course, Paul Walker is just a master when it comes to acting. Some actors were lacking in the actings. The corrupt colonel's emotions and expressions were obvious and not clear. But the extras, K-2 and Tremaine's actings were very positive. Their movements and actings were realistic and it was like I was actually in the scene and experience the life in Brick Mansions.

I love the idea how it was set in Detroit. The movie gives me a feeling that it's a remake of District B13 for the American fans. Detroit is a place full of gangsters and it was a good choice to have the movie set in the city. It was kind of confusing because the Brick Mansions were in the middle of the city, not at like the side but in the middle. I asked to myself "Why would Delamarre choose Detroit and not New York, and why would she place it at the middle?"

The sound effects in this movie were expected as it's a modern movie. The guns shots were normal, the vehicle noises were usual. But the slow going sound while David Belle does his parkour was amazing. As David Belle's parkour goes on to a slow rampage, its sound makes it better. The slow ongoing sound gets the audience to think "What's going to happen?" or "Is he going to survive that jump?"

The camera angles in this movie were very surprising. The cameramen managed to get all the footage of David Belle's parkour moves and managed to get a good view of it. When the camera moves fast, the screen would just blur and you would have to get the camera to stop in order to get a better view. But this movie had none of those issues; we had the best view we could have to see David Belle's amazing parkour moves. This feature of the movie Brick Mansions brought a huge success.

Now if we look deeply into the plot of the movie itself, I believe that it was confusing and difficult to understand the plot and where it's guiding us to. I couldn't see a lot of flow in this movie. It went from a place straight to another place. I asked myself "Why would the Mayor just send a man and not a group of men. And why was Damein chosen to be the 'chosen one'." But these kinds of issues I think were just at the beginning. As soon as Damein and Lino manages to get into Brick Mansions the scenes started to flow a bit. I think that the director, Camille Delamarre, decided to have the beginning end quick and wanted to have the scene in Brick Mansions ASAP. The plot was one of the issues that make me feel that Brick Mansions were a total fail. But after showing some effort at the end to have the flow going, it turned my thoughts to a better view about the movie.

The overall or general view of this movie is positive. I really likes this movie because of its uniqueness. It was one of the first action movies I've watched that involved parkour. I love the idea of "uniqueness" and how it gets fit into action movies. Also the stars of this movie were amazing, David Belle did a great job doing parkour and trying to act like Paul Walker. Sadly, Paul Walker was not able to premier this due to his tragic accident. I wish him all the best wherever and whenever he's out there.

R.I.P Paul Walker
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5/10
Fun... but just another remake
lunarpeople24 April 2014
From what I gathered watching Brick Mansions, it's pretty much a step in step remake of the first attempt (French) at this flick by Luc Besson, Yamakasi. And... get this - it has Williams Belle (still in pretty good shape), the very same actor jumping and free running in the first movie. While the premise of the movie has been changed to Detroit (where else in the States?!) the rest is a complete repeat from the original. And while the original movie was a so-so-OK action/parkour semi original non-stop ride, second version became an American-flavored/Hollywood rendition without much originality at all. Just the same same same. I gotta give some love to this remake on account of Paul Walker's (perhaps) last role in it. The action was filmed well with all the usual tricks that Besson uses. If yo haven't seen the original French version, it's a fun action ride. If you are familiar with Yamakasi, don't waste your time and money... You won't get any pleasant surprises.
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7/10
lights camera action
panther2pup26 May 2014
If you enjoy the action genre that includes over the top stunts and action shots that leave you marveling at the athletics and wishing you could do that, while chuckling to yourself "seriously", you will enjoy this as much as I did. I was captured from beginning to end. But I will admit I'm a huge fan of these types of over the top but completely entertaining (for me, anyway) action flicks. The one man army mentality and opening scenes live up to that expectation. Chase scenes, fight scenes that produce no wounds or blood *chuckle* add to the action.Although I have never seen the French film this replicated, I enjoyed this version.
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Great Weekend Blockbuster
Brick Masons is a film centered around a project complex within Detroit. As the Mayor pursues advancement of his city the mere existence of this project impedes his plans. Thus begins a wild ride that none of the players involved could have ever predicted. The film is a quality feature with a lot of intense scenes some of which may not be suitable for children and early teens. The drug related content of this film is relatively high however it is done tactfully. All and all I think Paul Walker's acting in this film is consistent to what you have come to expect from him. The film is fast paced and action packed with plenty of hand to hand combat scenes and high speed driving. A movie like this does much justice to Paul Walkers legacy as it speaks well of the roles he was known to play. The ending of the film is quite light with the major point of conflict solved in a twisted sort of way. It really is a shame that Paul Walker passed as I would have liked to see more of this content outside of the Fast and the Furious franchise. A+ all around.
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