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‘Brick Mansions’ mixes fun parkour action with bad acting, worse story

2014-05-02-Brick-Mansions-movie-posterPerhaps the most high profile young actor to have died since Heath Ledger was Paul Walker, who starred as Brian O’Conner in five of the six “Fast and Furious” movies, and was in the process of filming the seventh installment when he was killed in a November car crash. Much of the discussion has revolved around that unfinished film, so I wasn’t even aware Walker had completed work on another movie before his death, “Brick Mansions,” until I saw a trailer for it in March.

Having seen “Brick Mansions,” I can only hope they do a good job completing “Fast Seven,” because I’d hate for this to be Walker’s last cinematic memory.
An English-language remake of the French film “District B13,” the film suffers from a painfully predictable script with acting that ranges from decent (Walker) to terrible (just about everyone else).

On the plus side, the movie is a wonderful showcase of parkour–the training discipline involving jumping, bouncing and climbing around, over and through obstacles–featuring David Belle, one of the discipline’s founders. But if you want to see parkour routines, which I personally find fascinating, you can find plenty on YouTube, where a search for the term “parkour” returns 3.4 million hits.

Yes the parkour is fun to watch, and some of the action is entertaining, but as a whole, “Brick Mansions” is a hot mess of a movie that would have probably gone straight to DVD had Walker not died, sparking potential interesting the film.

The movie is rated PG-13 for frenetic gunplay, violence and action throughout, language, sexual menace and drug material.

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