Even though many of the films that Paul Walker starred in were action movies, including the entire Fast & Furious Franchise, he never really came across as an action star to me. The above trailer for Camille Delamarre’s Brick Mansions, however, doesn’t take all that long to flip that opinion right around. Tag teaming with Parkour founder and all-around badass David Belle makes Walker look like a superhero, even if it wasn’t necessarily him doing all of his own stunts.
This trailer, via Yahoo! Movies, is most certainly Walker’s time to shine. Playing undercover detective Damien Collier in the film, he’s being sent into the titular neighborhood - an entire city block (or more) that’s been completely sectioned off and surrounded by giant walls, allowing the criminal element within it to do what they will. It’s no surprise that such a concept would come from the lofty mind of filmmaker Luc Besson, especially since this is a remake of his own 2004 French action flick District B13, which also felt kind of like a more energetic update of John Carpenter’s Escape from... films.
The plot has Collier going after druggy crime lord who killed his father, Tremaine, played by Wu-Tang's RZA. Belle, who was the star of the original, plays a convict named Lino whose girlfriend was kidnapped by the same bad guy. Getting around inside the Brick Mansions is going to be hard, but it helps when you’re in top physical shape and have the capability of using all of your surroundings to your advantage.
The high-flying stunts are probably going to be the only thing that sets this film apart from a thousand other ones just like it (somebody please tell me Jackie Chan has a cameo.) It’s the directorial debut for Delamarre, whose career has mostly been spent editing some of the films that Besson has written, so he’s well-versed in the kinetic mayhem that those films exude. My only concern at this point – and anything related to a Parkour crime thriller is hardly a "concern" – is that these trailers aren’t delivering on the over-the-top and often dark sense of humor that Besson is partially known for. Walker kind of needs a catch phrase in this flick to really make me remember him as an action guy, since this is his final completed film. Or maybe Fast & Furious 7 will solidify it as well. Who knows.
Climb over the wall and watch Brick Mansions in theaters on April 25th, and take a more Belle-heavy look at the film below.