Brick Mansions

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +1

Content: -2

Paul Walker, David Belle, RZA. Crime/action. Written by Luc Besson, Bibi Naceri. Directed by Luc Besson.

FILM SYNOPSIS: An undercover Detroit cop, with the help of an ex-con, navigates a dangerous neighborhood that's surrounded by a containment wall, in order to bring down a crime lord and his plot to devastate the entire city.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Many moviegoers generally attend movies to forget the troubles of the day. They simply want to be entertained, not tested. For some, this actioneer does just that. The lady behind me kept saying “Wow” after each improbable, special-effect-laden stunt amazed her. But if anyone actually follows the premise, they will find, as I did, gaps in credibility a mile wide.

Similar to the Fast and Furious movies in style and tone, Brick Mansions suffers from a nonsensical and idiotic plotline. It’s one of those films with a built-in audience who demand little more from this genre than an abundance of muscles, machines and mammaries. The director of Brick Mansions is relying heavily on the hypnotic use of muscles, machines and mammaries to gloss over the lack of intelligent writing and goofy acting choices. (The cast obviously spent lots of time in the gym, but I’d be surprised to learn any of the performers have ever exercised Stanislavski’s Method.)

Even great films demand our suspension of disbelief. This movie, however, requires a lobotomy before attending. For example. Our hero is holding onto the trunk lid of a speeding sedan as the villain fires a machine gun from the passenger seat at the clinging adversary behind him. Somehow through all the gunfire, the film’s star climbs over the car and through the window, disarms the bad guy, kicks the driver out his door and gets behind the wheel. Being a younger, more fit man, he could then stop the car and punch out the baddie. After all, nobody is chasing them. Instead, he keeps driving at a breakneck speed, attempting to escape thrown punches from the antagonist. I kept asking, why doesn’t he just stop the car? The director obviously wanted the dangerous race because he needed a climatic ending to the scene – even if it didn’t make any sense!

SPOILER ALERT: At the end, a notorious drug dealer runs for mayor of the embattled city, despite the fact that he’s a criminal credited with killing people. (Oh, and he justified his selling of heroine because it helped ease the pain of poor people.) Of course, THE MAN who’s now the mayor was just about to blow up the residents of the walled-in city in order to make life better for the 1%. (Heavy message.)

Sad that this was Paul Walker’s last completed film (he’ll be in some of F&F 7, but tragically died before that film’s completion), as Brick Mansions is a silly, unfulfilling martial arts battle, car chase, and shootout after another excuse for a member of the action/adventure genre.

All that said, congrats to the musician who handled the drums throughout the film’s score. Hardest working man in Hollywood these days is the guy working the snares.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Hip hop dog language sprinkled throughout.

Profanity: Surprisingly, I caught no misuse of God’s name or Christ’s.

Violence: Though cartoonish, the violent action is ceaseless.

Sex: None, though it is implied that the menacing henchwoman dressed in revealing black leather is a sadistic lesbian just waiting to get her hands on the captured waitress in the short skirt.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: I caught no drug use, but the baddies are getting ready to sell it.

Other: None

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and up

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