I’ve enjoyed Paul Walker, especially in Joy Ride and the Fast and Furious series, and was looking forward to seeing him alongside David Belle and RZA in Brick Mansions. The trailer offered a basic glimpse of the plot, but the big draw was the use of parkour throughout.
In case you’re unfamiliar with parkour, you may be familiar with YouTube videos showcasing it. Simply put, the goal is for a person to get from one point to another in the most efficient way possible using only their bodies and their surroundings.
In Brick Mansions, Walker plays an undercover cop who must infiltrate a “dead zone” in 2018 Detroit to recover a ticking time bomb that has been stolen by an arms dealer played by RZA. The acting and dialogue is to be expected for your typical action movie, no Oscar nominations here.
Where I expected the movie to shine however was through the use of parkour in the action sequences. While there were a couple extended scenes utilizing the technique, one at the beginning (which was definitely a fun scene) and a couple others mid way through, for the most part, it came across more as choreographed acting as opposed to authentic parkour – especially when attempted by Walker. Belle was much more fluent in the technique – as he should be given he co-founded the parkour movement back in the 1990s.
Parkour aside, the movie is your typical undercover cop/stop the bad guy/double crossed action flick and nothing overly special. It’s unfortunate this is one of the last movies we’ll be seeing Walker in due to his passing almost a year ago.