Trivia question: is "Where I come from, Cash Rule Everything Around Me." a quote from the movie "Brick Mansions" or a lyric from a song by Wu-Tang Clan? Technically, it's a quote from Tremaine Alexander as played by RZA in the movie "Brick Mansions", but anyone familiar with Wu-Tang Clan, the rap group that RZA is a member of, will know that it is a reference to their song "C.R.E.A.M." Does Wu-Tang Clan exist in the universe of "Brick Mansions"? Is there both RZA and the character that RZA plays in this movie universe? These are questions deeper than anything in the movie "Brick Mansions".
"Sometimes you don't got to be a rocket scientist, you just need to have a rocket." This line is said by RZA's character of Tremaine Alexander in "Brick Mansions" and it really sums up the movie as a whole. "Brick Mansions" is not a deep movie. It also doesn't offer anything character-wise or plot-wise that hasn't been seen before in countless other movies. The plot of "Brick Mansions" is also one of the leanest ever seen in an action movie. The plot involves a cop named Damien Collier, played by Paul Walker, who teams up with a criminal named Lino, played by David Belle, to enter a lawless place called Brick Mansions to take down Tremaine Alexander, the criminal who runs the place. In any action movie with a cop one must expect a scene where the cop's superior is arguing with the cop and eventually taking the cop off the case. This movie is so lean it doesn't even have time for that kind of plot.
"Brick Mansions" is only 90 minutes long and it really doesn't need to be any longer. Any further plot or character development they could have added to the film to extend the run time would have been rather pointless. There would have been nothing here that hasn't already been seen a million times before in other movies. No, the reason to see "Brick Mansions" is for the action. "Brick Mansions" is just meant to entertain and not to really make one think too hard. It's actually refreshing to see a movie that knows exactly what it wants to be and that doesn't pretend to be anything more than that.
The action in "Brick Mansions" is not exactly anything revolutionary and it is one of those action movies with lots of "Why didn't the villain just..." moments, but the action is still very fun to watch and the movie entertains throughout. The actors all seem like they are having a good time and that in itself makes this movie a fun one to watch. The interactions between the characters in this movie all have that kind of buddy action movie charm. It's nice to see one of Paul Walker's final performances be one that he seems to be having fun with.
No, there's nothing revolutionary about "Brick Mansions", especially if you consider that it is already a remake of a French film. However, it all goes back to what Tremaine Alexander says: "Sometimes you don't got to be a rocket scientist, you just need to have a rocket." It may not have taken a rocket scientist to come up with the script for "Brick Mansions" and you certainly don't need to be one to enjoy it, but that's not really necessary for this kind of movie. Sometimes all an action movie needs to be satisfying is some fun action and an actor's charm and in this regard, "Brick Mansions" certainly satisfies.