Brick Mansions (2014): Undercover and Never Outgunned

Posted: March 21, 2015 in Action, Crime, Drama
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71ubEWUG4VL._SL1136_With Detroit falling into the category of most violent, crime-ridden city in the US, the most dangerous section has been walled-off and segregated. Within its borders, unrest is brewing with the surrounding city and its politicians. After Brick Mansions leader Tremaine Alexander pulls off a heist to steal a bomb, the city sends in Officer Damien Collier to try and shut it down. To help him with his mission, he is partnered up with a convict, Lino, who has incredible physical ability and agility to get close to Tremaine. With thoughts of revenge a desire to bring him to justice, Damien’s focus on Tremaine serves as both a motivation and a potential challenge toward the success of his mission.

Review: While the tribute to the late Paul Walker (Officer Damien Collier) was certainly a nice touch, this felt like a film without clear direction or development. For Walker, his character had a basic obsession for revenge and flashes between moments of overconfidence and out-of-nowhere anger. David Belle (Lino) had nearly no character development at all, with the exception of his clear desire to rescue his girlfriend. He played the character recklessly and with a brutish demeanor. RZA (Tremaine Alexander) was a mixed bag. As the advertised villain, he wavered between aggressiveness and tempered cunning. He felt less like a maniacal villain than a more complicated antagonist. Unfortunately, there was little more to the actual character than what was presented initially.

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This film promoted strong action sequences that mixed together free-running with some martial arts. While the scenes themselves were well choreographed, the story was weak and none of the characters were all that interesting. The plot mixed together a kidnapping, a bomb, a missile, and a lot of corrupted activities. The film essentially taught that politics are corrupt and everyone is at least a little dirty. While Tremaine may have seemed like the villainous center, his minions seemed to be quite aggressive without his direction and the corruption within the Detroit police and government systems appeared to be the bigger threats. The conclusion also seemed to try to hard to finish the story with a nice neat bow without actually explaining how the events actually got the city to that point.

While not his best work, Paul Walker was able to notch another action film to his resume. There was plenty of activity…just no substance.

Dan’s Rating: 2.0/5

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