Film Title: Brick Mansions
Director: Camille Delamarre
Starring: Paul Walker, David Belle, RZA
Running Time: 90 min
Given the nature of his work, it is not saying a great deal to report that the last film completed by the late Paul Walker brings no further shame to his memory. What we have here is a perfectly serviceable remake of Pierre Morel’s French thriller District 13 (and, therefore, a second-generation retread of Escape from New York).
Set in poor old Detroit – already seen this year, to dilapidated effect, in Robocop and Only Lovers Left Alive – the film concerns an area of the city that, run down to a hopeless degree, has now been cordoned off as a doomed enclave. When the supposed villains within Brick Mansions acquire a neutron bomb, Detective Walker is coupled with a French-Canadian ex-con (David Belle) and sent in to restore order.
The fight choreography – tending more towards Jackie Chan than Bruce Lee – is excellent throughout. And, though memories of Walker’s death ad poignancy, the car chases crash and bang with satisfactory oomph.
The ludicrous of the plotting and the clunkiness of the dialogue do, however, ultimately become too grating to tolerate. “I’m here to meet my constituaries,” RZA says after being declared mayor. “Constituaries”? At least the original came with subtitles.