Sign up for the
and get $50 off Final Draft 12
By Jameson Brown · April 28, 2014
Having just come off of The Raid 2 my mind was well prepped for Paul Walker's new "let's all bounce off walls" vehicle. And with the foundation of the original District B13, with a well written action screenplay put together by Luc Besson and Bibi Naceri, I had hopes for something at least to jump off the screen. I was wrong. I was dissapointed. I found myself shaking my head in dismay. The acting was absolutely terrible, but Luc Besson's script was riddled with implausibility. No wall jump or heavy-handed, lil jon backed marketing campaign could save this stinker.
From the opening sequence we are immediately hit with "everyone, this is going to be a cool action movie so please tell your friends about it. Thanks!" And David Belle's (District B13, The Family) capabilites were impressive, but the choreography was not. The one saving grace this adaptation had was to show off some grade A action sequences, but even these were poorly executed – too short, jump cuts galore and all around just boring. As Paul Walker (The Fast and the Furious, Varsity Blues) infiltrates the Brick Mansions to diffuse a bomb that will blow up the entire city of down and out Detroit, we are taken on a lethargic ride of dull action that simply tries to carry us to the next attempt at narrative, which is a travesty within itself.
But what about our opposing force in the story? Nope, that's horribly executed as well. With RZA's shotty performance, not to mention having the most unintelligent posse of henchman around, the "threat" jolted no feeling of fear whatsoever. We were left with the bad guys running around in circles and tripping over their own shoelaces – or in some cases getting tied up and Macho Manned with a cinderblock. I actually wanted that bomb to go off simply because of how dumb these gangsters acted.
Ultimately, this adaptation had no component that could help get it off the ground. The plot holes were so glaring (even for a breezy action "money maker" flick like this) that it could not even be taken seriously on a campy level. Between this, the atrocious performances and more one-liners than a Will Smith handbook it failed on all levels. But who knows, hopefully Brick Mansions can find its home, on On Demand, where it belongs.