Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

Brick Mansions

Brick Mansions
Paul Walker, David Belle, RZA, Catalina Denis, Ayisha Issa, Richard Zeman, Robert Maillet and Bruce Ramsay 

Rated: PG-13 for frenetic gunplay, violence and action throughout, language, sexual menace and drug material.
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: April 25, 2014 Released by: Relativity Media

For some reason curses have been placed on this production before many folks have had the opportunity to view it.  Paul Walker and David Belle battle the bad guys in a future Detroit using Jackie Chan actions, movements and tongue-in-cheek banter as they work to save the city.

The action scenes in this performance surpass the Fast and Furious formula which Walker was famous for.  Walker is a cop and also a man out to revenge the death of his cop father.  His new, forced upon him partner is Lino (David Belle) who is wanted for the murder of a cop (but we know the cop was a bad cop).  Together they are responsible for saving everyone by destroying the entire gangland force which his kept behind the walls of Brick Mansions.  It is sort of like Escape from New York, walled off from the remainder of the city and filled with all the crooks and deviates in the neighborhood. 

Catalina Denis is Lola, girlfriend of Lino she is quickly captured by an excursion into the free Detroit by gang members.  Throughout the film Lino is a captive that Lino is out to free and Walker's Damien has the same bad guys targeted because of his father's death.  The film is pure action and the thinly masked plot is secondary the romps by the two stars which take them off the top of buildings and up on ceilings in the dark hallways of Brick Mansions.  

In that this is Detroit the cars old or new are Detroit made products with one exception which appears at the end of the film.  With the cars on the screen and all the very effective stunts the problem of a neutron bomb under control of the gangs in the Mansion area is secondary.  Under the direction of the Mayor (Bruce Ramsay) they are off to the battle.  It's dumb stuff but exciting. 

The allied enemies Lino and Damien learn that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, but only after a few attempts on the part of each of them to stop the partner, fail and push them further into the plot which revolves around them but not under their control. The battles with the gangs are classic yet filled with new ideas, like fighting with a steering wheel handcuffed to the hero.  

Everybody fights even the two women who star in the film innocent Lola ( Catalina Denis) and the bad girl Rayzah (Ayisha Issa). RZA is the ghetto leader Tremaine who has more insights and we expect.  But he provides nearly all the battle action for the two hero's to overcome.  

With just enough silliness between the two leads and a screen which is always full of the action they all get together at some point and "Tear Down the Wall" thereby giving some credibility to the script but that doesn't become the driving force, Brick Mansions is one big effective action scene.  

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Brick Mansions  B      D+   B            B-      C+ 

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