UK Release: May 2nd 2014
US remake of 2006’s Pierre Morel’s ‘District 13’, ‘BRICK MANSIONS’, features original parkour star David Belle and the late (in his final completed role) Paul Walker. Keeping the same premise of the ‘District 13’ the film is set in the future where convicts live in brick mansions to keep them contained. But when a kingpin (RZA) of the tower flats have hold of a nuclear arm it is up to a team of convict (David Belle) and cop (Paul Walker) to work together and take him down.
The film does look nice, with a good sense of life to the slums, which these characters interact in, and while the whole use of slow-mo in action is an old trend, it actually works well, as there is a sense of arresting texture to it all. It is a shame that new coming director Camille Delamarre is a slave to the original film, and nearly directs that on a shot-by-shot basis. There is no real sense neither that Paul Walker himself can do all these parkour stunts which David Belle (even if he looks old now), can do. You never see Walker close up as we do Belle, when he is using parkour to jump out of the way of crushing vehicles and such; I personally had an issue with this as it didn’t help with my morality judgement with this film. The film of its type can be forgiven for the clunky dialogue and the amusing deaths, which character don’t seem to care about, but it does give you a fight scene with the giant of former WWE wrestler Kurgan, who has appeared in ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and ‘300’ in similar bodyguard roles. The film occupies time well though, and doesn’t feel overlong, and will serve the audience well. There are amusements to be had, including that of shoehorning in popular pop hits which really don’t go with the tone of the film and a rather random (and you can tell with the image used it was taken from some ‘Fast and Furious’ premiere) ‘’In loving memory’’ graphic to Paul Walker at the end, which anyone could have made on a computer and does making you wonder by using that line was the film really made in memory of his death?