Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Brick Mansions - 2 stars

The late Paul Walker stars as Damien Collier, an undercover cop.  Set in the near future, Brick Mansions is the most dangerous section of Detroit.  It's become overrun with crime and the city has sectioned it off from the rest of the city in order to keep the good people of Detroit safe.  Officer Collier is sent in to find and disarm a neutron bomb which could wipe out the entire city.

In his efforts, Collier teams up with Lino Dupree (David Belle).  Lino's girlfriend is being held hostage by Tremaine Alexander (RZA), a crime lord who also happens to be the one in possession of the bomb. 

The best thing about the movie is the action.  David Belle is one of the founders of Parkour, and he's a lot of fun to watch.  The opening 10 minutes of this movie are a great showcase of what Parkour is all about and it's great.  He runs across buildings and climbs up walls like Spiderman.  It's great stuff, but it does feel a little dated.  It seems like Parkour was a big deal about 10 years ago.  There was that great Parkour sequence in Casino Royale, and The Office did a bit about it as well. 

Dated or not, it's still fun to watch.  But all of Belle's dialogue is dubbed, and it's so bad it's distracting.  His French accent must be pretty strong, and the filmmakers worried that the Fast & Furious fans wouldn't like it.  Speaking of F&F, this feels a lot like those movies.  Paul Walker is basically playing the same character, and once again he falls in with criminals who turn out to be pretty nice guys.  By the end, they're all one big family.  I was just waiting for the scene where they all have a barbecue together.

The movie doesn't suck, but it's nothing special.  A little humor here and there, but not much.  Good action, but filmed and edited in that shaky cam, close up fashion like every other action movie these days.  I wish once in a while they would hold the camera still and film the action in a wide shot so that we can see the choreography play out.

Oh yeah, one more thing.  You know how in movies like this, the bad guys can't hit anything?  There can be 10 guys with machine guns firing at Paul Walker, and all he has to do is hunch over like he's trying to get out of the rain.  I can deal with that.  But at one point, there's a guy on a two-story roof with a sniper rifle, and he still can't hit Paul Walker.  That's just ridiculous. 

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