Mmegi Online :: The fortress of crime a no go zone
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Monday 24 September 2018, 15:01 pm.
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The fortress of crime a no go zone

Reviewed by Bakang Israel, Movie: Brick Mansions, Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Age limit: 13, Release Date: October 24, 2014, Director: Camille Delamarre, Main Cast: Paul Walker as (Damien Collier), David Belle (Lino Dupree), RZA Robert Fitzgerald Diggs (Tremaine) and Gouchy Boy (K2)
By Bakang Israel 2014-07-01 11:56:00 Fri 31 Oct 2014, 15:30 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: The fortress of crime a no go zone








This movie is so relatable as it focuses on the lives of criminals and how society deals with them.  Like other drama movies, Brick Mansions are no different.  It depicts real life situations on how society deals with criminals.

The movie is a French Canadian action film, however it is a remake of the 2004 French action movie Banlieue 13 (District 13) also produced and written by Luc Besson just like this latest version.

If you have watched Banlieue 13, Brick Mansions takes off in a similar fashion and the characters are more or less the same. 

This most notable difference is that this film stars the late Paul Walker as Damien Collier a Detroit police officer who is under cover and tries to bring down the city’s fierce criminals.

Walker had become stereotyped with some of his last movies being of undercover operation roles, as we have seen him do so in the smash hit Fast and Furious movie collection as an undercover officer going rogue.  He was the main catch for the film as Brick Mansions is Walker’s last completed film before his death on November 30, 2013. Some of the other characters, particularly David Belle, reprised his original role from District 13 as (Lino Dupree) an ex-thug turned saint now trying to eradicate crime and old foes.

As for the brains behind this film, it is directed by Camille Delamarre, we know him for Taken 2 (2012) and Transporter 3 (2008) as an editor and assistant director.

In this action drama, Delamarre has created an interesting story.   His characters deal with emotional themes such as drugs, poverty, and class divisions that put the characters in conflict with themselves in a divided society.

A section of Detroit is barricaded and labelled Brick Mansions a forbidden zone for ordinary citizens, as is now the stronghold of all criminal activity in the city.   In real life it resembles some of the notorious neighbourhoods of Old Naledi, and G-West, amongst others, where even the police tread with caution.

The movie centres around Damien (Walker) and Lito (Belle), an undercover cop and ex-thug who have to put their agendas together to retain a stolen high profile object coupled with the other trying to save his kidnapped girlfriend.  It later turns into a mutual objective of infiltrating a gang of Brick Mansions.  The film opens with K2 and the gang chasing down Lito who managed to evade them by running and cutting corners.

When watching this it reminds one of past police chases sometimes witnessed across the streets with perpetrators jumping over fences, using the environment to their advantage to

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make an escape. One has to also appreciate the fact that the stunts in this movie are very real.  Above all Belle or Lito’s character really set the movie alive with his acrobatics and athletics that made his character a fierce, untouchable robust ex-convict.

To emphasise this, in the movie,for example,  when they, alongside Damien, were being chased by K2’s gang squeezed through the slightest of angles leaving the less agile cop to find an alternative for himself.  That scene was more intriguing as it brought a bit of humour to the big screen. Though his character was not as convincing and powerful as that of Cyril Raffaelli who played the same role in District 13, Walker did make up for that with his skills behind the wheel, which brought to mind his Fast and Furious character.

Brick Mansions’ fast-paced action is fascinating in that it is complemented by the fact that there are no special features, it is only the fights, gun action, display of martial arts, the thrilling footwork and the car chases.

When watching this action-drama you get that nail-biting feeling you were sure of from the Steven Seagal, Jet Li movies.

All these moments created a fresh image and made the movie fun to watch as there are no dark moments, rather an interesting cinematography.  One has also to applaud the mystery and suspense elements of Brick Mansions, which made way for a great ending to the movie portrayed in a manner showcasing that in most cases it is not clear whether the accused (RZA’ the gang leader in this case) is guilty of the crimes associated with the.  The movie gives you something to think about.

The movie also has an interesting plot that takes place in the year 2018, in a dystopian city of Detroit, abandoned brick mansions/storey buildings left from better times now house only the most dangerous criminals.

Meanwhile, a look at the box office and reception in theatres suggests that this movie was not a huge success. This is because this film was produced on a budget of $28 million dollars and received a premiere weekend sales of $9 million and grossed a cumulative sum figure of $20 million dollars, which is less than impressive.

Perhaps the viewers loved the original District 13 more. Having been released as far back as April in the USA, it explains why Brick Mansions is no longer ranking in the charts. Judging by all elements it would be safe to award this movie a 7/10 rating because 2014 dished out other more exhilarating dramas like Gone Girl.

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