David Belle

David Belle and Paul Walker in BRICK MANSIONS

Hollywood remakes of foreign films are here to stay because they perform a great service to illiterate and lazy Americans nationwide, but their track record is dubious at best. This is especially true for remakes of action films for two commonly recurring reasons. Hollywood can rarely compete with the action (usually due to pesky things like insurance), and they often over-think the script in an effort to make it “smarter.” Brick Mansions, the English language redo of the 2004 French hit District B13, thankfully makes no attempt to beef up the film’s intelligence — it’s more likely that they dumbed it down actually. But it will surprise no one that the action is subpar shenanigans created and destroyed entirely through rapid-fire editing. Damien (Paul Walker, replacing the far more limber and athletically talented Cyril Raffaelli) is a cop fighting the good fight in 2018 Detroit. The city previously walled off the less gentrified neighborhood of Brick Mansions in an effort to separate the urban riffraff from the more upstanding citizens, but when Damien is sent in on an undercover mission he discovers a truth far more explosive than the bomb he’s supposed to defuse. That’s right. Minorities are people too.


Paul Walker in Brick Mansions

The first Brick Mansions trailer from February was focused on the action elements presented in this American remake of the French film District B13. This second, full trailer wants you to know a bit more about the story. In one of his final and most physical roles, Paul Walker plays a detective looking to avenge the death of his father by entering into a neighborhood so dangerous it has been quarantined from the rest of society. Inside, he uses an unlikely ally to take on a vicious drug kingpin played by RZA, who is looking pretty villainy. As we’ve mentioned before, it’s awesome to see Walker get into the physical stuff of the Parkour-energized film alongside French star David Belle, who was a central figure in the original film. This trailer also comes complete with a pretty slick rendition of Ben E. King song, “Stand by Me.”


Brick Mansions

Brick Mansions was the final film Paul Walker completed before his death this past November. For that reason alone, it’s bound to draw attention — it’s an opportunity for the actor’s fans to grieve and to get one last fully-finished look at Walker doing what Walker did best: driving souped-up muscle cars, elbowing dudes in the face, and being around things that may or may not (but almost always do) explode. Which Brick Mansions is certainly stuffed full of. But seeing as the film is a remake of the 2004 parkour flick District B13, there’s probably a substantial amount of dudes-running-up-walls as well. Walker plays an undercover cop in a dystopian future Detroit (a dead ringer for our dystopian present Detroit) who must infiltrate a tenement building to disarm a dangerous warhead being held inside. Accompanying Walker on his quest are RZA and David Belle, the latter being the star of the original District B13 and the actual founder of Parkour.


news_district b13 remake

The American remake of District B13 that we’ve all been clamoring for may be one step closer to reality. Per Deadline Jump River, Paul Walker is in talks to join the remake currently titled Brick Mansions. The script, co-written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen (Taken), sticks fairly close to the source material with a nuclear device falling into the hands of a notorious gangster/drug dealer in a dangerous part of inner city Chicago. An undercover detective (Walker) teams up with a local (David Belle) to infiltrate the neighborhood and deactivate the bomb. Parkour ensues. We won’t bother listing the varied reasons why this is a bad idea, well, except for one. I’m no Walker hater. The guy is fine for what he is, but one short rooftop chase in Fast Five doesn’t really automatically qualify him for a parkour film. Granted Belle, who co-starred in both of the French District B13 films, will be the one doing the majority of the stunts, but you know they’re going to have Walker join in the fun… which ultimately means stunt doubles and green screen. If the film does well I think I speak for all of us when I say the sequel should head to Chicago’s Cabrini Green where the parkour boys are called in to neutralize Candyman.



Want to see something totally badass? How about a look at the new trailer for District 13: Ultimatum. You won’t regret it.



If you love martial arts action and the high-flying first film from producer Luc Besson, you must see this movie. That is my ultimatum to you, friends.



Speed, agility, violence: Parkour, it’s not just something that gets parodied on The Office, it’s the way of the French. Come check in as Neil goes back to District B13 for another ass-kicking round of awesome.

Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 02.01.2015
published: 01.31.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015

Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3