run time: 90 mins
considered: Action, Crime, Drama
director: Camille Delamarre
starring: Paul Walker, David Belle, RZA, Gouchy Boy, Catalina Denis, Carlo Rota, Andreas Apergis, Richard Zemanm, Robert Maillet, Bruce Ramsay, Frank Fontaine, Chimwemwe Miller, Bradshaw Anderson, Ryan Trudeau
movie summary: In the near future the city of Detroit is a war zone. In order to keep the trouble makers, murderers, drug dealers, and the corrupt in one place, the city builds a city within the city; Brick Mansions. Lino (David Belle) is a good guy who is trying to his best to take down the so-called mayor of Brick Mansions, Tremaine (RZA), all by himself. On the outside super cop Damien (Paul Walker) brings down a major drug king pin before being approached by the mayor of Detroit to accept a new assignment inside Brick Mansions. His mission is to track down Lino and help him bring down Tremaine who has gained possession of a nuclear weapon. Damien accepts the job because he has been tracking Tremaine for personal reasons and wants revenge.
Lino tries his best to lure Tremaine out of Brick Mansions but when they reach the border he learns the hard way that Tremaine owns the cops which lands him in jail. Damien gets arrested to end up in the same jail to break them out. The two struggle to see eye to eye before getting into a fist fight, once they agree to disagree they steal a van to break back into Brick Mansions. When they crash the van Lino uses the opportunity to flee leaving Damien to deal with some thugs by himself. After disposing of the thugs Damien finds Lino in an abandoned building across from Tremaine’s headquarters. The pair find out that he has kidnapped Lino’s girlfriend Lola (Catalina Denis) so they give themselves up in an attempt to get closer to Tremaine and Lola. Inside Tremaine’s place the guys find out the bomb has been activated and the clock is set at 47 minutes before it launches on a rocket aimed at downtown Detroit. Damien calls the mayor who pledges to give Tremaine his ransom of $30 million dollars, Tremaine claims to be a business man so agrees to the deal and throws both Lino and Damien in a holding cell until the money comes.
Lola is tied up to the rocket while Lino plays dead to give Damien the opportunity to take out the one security guard. The pair grab a gun and go on the run, Tremaine learns of their escape and sends his army of guys after them. They steal Tremaine’s prized car which leads to a wild chase across the streets before crashing the car and escaping a firefight. They reach the rooftop across from the rocket and manage to disable it before rescuing Lola. Tremaine has lost the majority of his men but manages to reach the roof with one gun and a handful of bullets. The three guys have a stand-off on how to deal with the bomb with only a few moments to go.
my thoughts: Hollywood lost a star when Paul Walker died earlier this year and one of his final completed projects, Brick Mansions, was a blast to watch. Even though it has a really silly plot with a predictable ending (even with a twist that I didn’t see coming) it is worth a watch for the physics defining action scenes and Paul Walker. Walker plays a role that he has became famous for, a cop who must go deep undercover to catch the bad guys. He has the rough and tough look that suits those kind of roles with the skills to drive fast cars and fire a gun. David Belle turns into his partner for the majority of the movie and despite their first bad impressions on each other, manage to form a kick-ass team that can handle anything the bad guys throw at them. Belle handles most of the action scenes by bouncing off walls, swinging off pipes, and kicking the ass of the bad guys.
One of the best aspects of the movie was whenever Belle or Walker would punch, kick, or shoot a bad guy the movie slowed down and everything would go slow motion which allowed us to fully enjoy the impact of the blow. The movie is filled with gun fire, fast car chases, and fist fights that will please action movie junkies, while the story of the good cop going after the bad guys is a story that everyone else can get behind.
I wish I had more to say about this movie without giving the plot away but the story only involves a handful of characters and clocks in at 90 mins long. I’m scoring the movie really high because Paul Walker is good at his job and the action sequences are worth the price of admission, even though the movie as a whole is just a typical race to disarm a nuclear bomb and catch the bad guys theme.
my star rating: 8 out 10
imdb.com: 6.5 out 10
rottentomatoes.com: 29% out 100%