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Brick Mansions Movie Review

Adrenaline runs high in the entertaining, action-heavy remake of the 2004 French film “District B13.” Starring the late Paul Walker in one of his last roles, “Brick Mansions” packs gunfights, car chases, acrobatic stunts and humor into one stylized package.

In the urban ghetto of Detroit, which has been surrounded by a containment wall, narcotics officer Damien (Walker) goes undercover and teams with ex-con Lino (David Belle) to infiltrate a crew of criminals and defuse a confiscated bomb.

Originally set for a February release, the film came out five months after Walker’s death in a car accident, and it was a bit unsettling to see him running around in the future. But his love for action roles comes through clearly in this movie. From the detailed fight scenes to the subtle humor, Walker was in his element. He’s as gutsy and charming as ever.

Wu-Tang Clan rapper RZA plays crime lord Tremaine. As the ring leader of the slums, RZA looks the part. But rarely do you believe a word he says when he attempts to be threatening. There’s too much hesitation and not enough conviction. Later, Tremaine reveals redeeming qualities, which RZA embodies with more believability.

There’s an element of camp to this movie as well, which allows those who aren’t the best actors — Walker included — to prompt a few laughs.

“Brick Mansions” was directed by newbie Camille Delamarre and written by Luc Besson, who also wrote “District B13.” Like the original, “Mansions” is set in the near future, although there’s really nothing in the film that shows us we’re a few years ahead other than the “2018” that is flashed on the screen.

The many fight sequences were choreographed using a technique called Parkour, which was created by Belle, also a star in the original film. Parkour incorporates vaulting, flipping, swinging, rolling, etc., to move through various obstacles in a scene. The action is frozen for a split second during many of these moves and extreme close-ups put us right in the action.

At times the Parkour technique requires the ability to suspend disbelief, especially when a character is jumping from one rooftop to another, climbing brick walls or overpowering as many as four men at once.

Focused on finding Tremaine, who he believes killed his father, Damien’s motivation is rooted in revenge. Lino’s subplot revolves around his ex-girlfriend, Lola. Tremaine has dragged her into the slums, which she had worked hard to escape. But she’s no damsel in distress.

Lola can fight and handle a gun — all while showing off quite a bit of leg in a waitress outfit that looks like a truncated schoolgirl uniform.

At one point, Lola and the main dame in Tremaine’s clique, Rayzah (Ayisha Issa), who sports a tiny leather ensemble, duke it out. Though it’s a cliched fantasy come to life, it’s still a hot scene.

At the heart of the film is the social commentary focusing on a community divided. Within Brick Mansions, there is no school, hospital or police station, and those who live there are mostly minorities. It’s made clear that the government could care less about the Brick folks, as they’re said to contribute nothing to society.

This is not a film that will shift anyone’s moral compass. But it’s worth it to see Walker in the last film he was able to complete.

Photoshoot Added

I’ve added HQ photos from the Colcci Winter 2014 Collection photoshoot Paul did, obviously prior to the accident. These images are beautiful, I hope you all enjoy them 🙂

Cody Walker Interview

Paul Walker’s younger brother Cody Walker has opened up about the actor’s death. The 25-year-old paramedic still can’t believe that Paul is already gone.

Cody is sharing Paul’s role with their brother Caleb to help complete the production for “Fast & Furious 7.” Paul already completed most of his scenes in the film as Brian O’Conner, but there are still a few scenes left that need to be filmed.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Cody has opened up about how Paul’s untimely passing is affecting them all.

Right now, a whole lot of time has not gone by yet,” Cody said, referring to the November 30 accident that claimed his brother’s life at age 40.

“It still doesn’t feel real, because sometimes, working in this industry, making films, he’d be away from his family three, four, six months at a time, you know. And my only interaction would be a phone call. So I know it’s going to take a while. It’s going to take a few years before it feels real.”

Cody’s voice cracked while talking fondly about Paul. He praised his famous brother, saying he had lived a modest life and had treated people like a close friend.

“Anyone that’s ever met Paul, he’d never met a stranger in his life,” an emotional Cody continued. “He was so low-key, he had lived such a modest life. He would tell me how he was jealous of me because I still have my anonymity… it was so funny to hear that come from him.”

When asked about the details of his and 36-year-old Caleb’s involvement in “Fast & Furious 7,” Cody declined, saying he couldn’t talk about it.

He talked about Paul’s latest completed film, “Brick Mansions,” though.

“Paul had been training in martial arts for many, many years. Brazilian jujitsu was his choice and when he came across this film, what an awesome opportunity to work alongside the founder of Parkour and to showcase some of his cool martial arts, the foot chases, the fight scenes.”

“Brick Mansions” is released on Friday, April 25, in the U.S., while “Fast & Furious 7” is expected to hit theatres on April 10 in 2015.

‘Brick Mansions’ Behind-The-Scenes Footage

The late Paul Walker is seen having fun on the set of upcoming action movie ‘Brick Mansions’ in a new behind-the-scenes clip.

The star, who was killed in a tragic car accident at the end of 2013, seems to be thriving on the physically-demanding movie, which also stars David Belle and RZA.

“Brick Mansions, it’s an action movie,” he says. “We’re having fun!

“It’s part of the reason I wanted to do this movie, I was like ‘oh cool, I get to go play’.”

He later explains: “I get to go face some physical challenges, jump off rooftops, race cars and do fun guy stuff.”

The star was still completing work on the next Fast and Furious movie at the time of his passing, so earlier this month it was revealed that his two brothers will stand in for him in certain sequences that he had yet to shoot.

Brick Mansions is out today in the US and has received mixed-to-negative reviews; achieving a lowly 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

A critic from the Detroit News, the city where the film is set, complained: “Director Camille Delamarre does a sloppy job of piecing everything together, and nobody on screen seems invested in what is going on. The feeling from the audience is mutual.”

Watch the behind-the-scenes clip below.


Brothers Caleb and Cody Have Mixed Feelings About Filling In

Paul Walker’s brothers have mixed feelings about filling in for their late brother. Caleb and Cody, who joined the cast of “Fast & Furious 7” to help finish Paul’s scenes, want to honour their older brother, but won’t be joining showbiz after the film.

Their sister, Ashlie, told Radar Online that the brothers, who are excited to film in Dubai, are being treated by the cast so well.

However, before agreeing to share Paul’s character Brian O’Conner,36-year-old Caleb and 25-year-old Cody weren’t so sure that they should do it.

“They have mixed feelings,” their sister said. “It’s emotional. And it’s been hard to step into Paul’s shoes and make a huge career move. They’ve been working with coaches on their scripts. They want to honour him and do the very best they can.”

Paul, 40, died on Nov 30, 2013 in a single car-accident. He had already filmed majority of his scenes for the latest instalment of the multi-billion film franchise, but still had a few more yet to shoot.

The production went on a hiatus afterwards as respect to their fallen cast member. Last week, the producers announced that Paul’s brothers have signed on with the film to finish his work.

The gig is just temporary, though, and won’t entire the siblings to enter Hollywood. Ashlie said that after the production of the film, Caleb, a restaurant owner, and Cody, a paramedic, will get back to their regular jobs.

“They’re not actors. This is just temporary,” Ashlie explained. “They just want to help complete the film because so many people were so invested. Paul was invested. Both have things about them that are so similar to Paul, even the way they walk. It was a natural decision.”

The entire Walker family, including Paul’s 15-year-old daughter Meadow, will be watching the film once it has completed.

Meanwhile, Vin Diesel posted a picture of Caleb and Cody on set with him on his Facebook page.

“When I heard the news, I left the production, grabbed a plane and took my family and Michelle back to LA… drove directly to his parent’s house,” he wrote.

“His Father said, Paul loved you Vin… I awkwardly and nervously said, aw come one… then he said… you don’t have to get along every second to love each other… so true.

“P.s. After spending time with his biological brothers, I must say to the parents, you raised some great kids.”

“Fast & Furious 7” is slated for April 10, 2015 release.