Brick Mansions - Online Review

'as producer, Luc Besson's stamp is all over this film and that stamp is fast becoming a symbol of things that whiff significantly, have little life, verve, plot, care or raison d'etre'

Luc Besson's latest attempt to bring down the Action genre, Brick Mansions, continues his dumbing down of this form of cinema to the point where, Paul Walker aside, people who can act are now no longer required for his films. As with Three Days To Kill and notable others, Besson palms off directing duties to someone else (in this case Camille Delamarre), but as producer his stamp is all over this film and that stamp is fast becoming a symbol of things that whiff significantly, have little life, verve, plot, care or raison d'etre.

In this case, Walker, in the last film fully completed before his untimely death in November 2013, plays Damien Collier, a sometime-undercover cop, sent into the titular ghettoised area of Detroit to wrestle control of a nuclear weapon from gangster Tremaine (RZA), in the company of parkour expert-cum-vigilante Lino (David Belle).

As the film opens, Delamarre gives us a nifty sequence of Belle doing his urban gymnastics whilst on the run from Tremaine's goons, headed by K2 (Gouchy Boy). Meanwhile Collier is engaging in some Fast And Furious-esque vehicular adventure in pursuit of George The Greek (Carlo Rota). For a brief few moments it does feel as though Brick Mansions might deliver something satisfying; Walker does the heavy lifting as RZA and assorted others shout imperatives in pursuit of Lino's incredible feats. Walker could sell this sort of stuff in his sleep and do even better when given the right material: just look at Running Scared for a film that tries a few things, gives him responsibility and is all the better for it.

The problem is that, after this opening, it becomes immediately clear that no-one else can act and even if they could Besson and Bibi Naceri's script isn't going to let them. Belle might be able to jump around, but he can't deliver a line of dialogue to save his life. RZA might be able to do a level of malevolence, but that's where his input ends. Sidekicks Ayisha Issa and Gouchy Boy are weak, the former horribly served by a fetishised fight late on. Besson and Naceri do at least wisely refrain from giving former WWE star Robert Maillet any lines, though at this point you do wonder how much worse that could really have made things.

If Besson has proven anything with this latest offering it is that even films such as his, of dubious value, still need good actors to make them work. Brick Mansions largely doesn't have them and very quickly becomes a tedious mess of clich├ęs and zero effort execution.




Brick Mansions was playing on Sky Go and other Sky Movies platforms.


By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

No comments:

Post a Comment