American remakes of European films rarely go mildly better than the originals, but they have a clear context for U.S. citizens, familiar brands and popular actors. Perhaps that is why American audiences who had not seen the original “13th District“, kept praising “Brick Mansions“. Or maybe the reason is that in this film his last role played died six months ago, Paul Walker.
Paul Walker in the American remake replaced Cyril Rafaeli, but David Belle decided to leave in place, it plays the same role, but it turned into Leito French emigre Lino. Action moved from Paris to Detroit, the rest of the fabric of the film transferred unchanged. Why, many scenes just repeat the original frame to frame.
That’s just one problem. Whether for a few Belle 10 years old, and the inventor of parkour already knocked 41, whether American producers were not allowed to venture beyond measure an athlete, but actually parkour tricks and branded “brick mansion” on the order of magnitude smaller than in the “13th District” . Or maybe the reason is that Walker, despite his charisma, hard to replace Cyril Rafaeli, karate, acrobat and stuntman. And so between the actors was not such a big difference, the number of solo tricks Boll reduced. So instead of 15-minute runs on the roofs and stairs in a remake of short spurts on corridors, in the best case for a couple of minutes. Yes and combat choreography in “13th District” was a somewhat different level. Although the remake all significant fights repeated, but too clumsy, with an emphasis on short power series, rather than fighting filigree dancing style of Jackie Chan with all furnishings.
But the main problem of the movie is not even that. Although formally “Brick Mansions” a remake of the first “13th District”, and not too serious, “13th District Ultimatum“, the mood and some of the scenes they took it from “Ultmatuma.” Where Pierre Morel turned grotesque sitcom with black humor, filigree tricks, sparkling dialogue and crazy but charismatic characters (even negative), Camille Delamarre came standard American cop thriller – clumsy, predictable and straightforward. With mandatory dead cop father, an ex-girlfriend, which somehow turned into Lola, sister Leito and concrete logic. And yet, in the remake almost do not shoot, shoot and if it is not come, and if they fall, do not kill. No black humor and excess blood is not Europe. And yes, the film suddenly turned negative characters and it is somewhat discouraging.
In short, we would advise you to reconsider, “13th District” instead of “brick mansion,” if not for Paul Walker. It really is the last appearance of many favorite actor on the screen (the fate of the “Fast and the Furious 7” is still in question). And despite some clumsiness Paul looks very organic in the role of a desperate police. Actually, it was such characters he played his entire career. So the “Brick Mansions” is worth seeing at least out of respect for the deceased actor, although visible on the screen it for half an hour is still very hard. RIP.