Remakes aren’t always unfortunate messes. If a writer or a director has a truly original vision for a story already interpreted by someone else, the result can be as good or even better than the inspiration was. When a writer/director instead decides to just try and copy the original’s script with a hotter cast or in a different language, though, the result is often a lifeless failure that doesn’t capture that indiscernible quality responsible for creating movie magic the first time around.
Like the recent, wholly unnecessary remakes of Carrie and Oldboy, Brick Mansions (a remake of the 2006 release District B13) should work in theory, since so little of the source material is altered. Through poor casting and directing, though, it fails to click in any reasonable way. The added scrutiny of this being the last film Paul Walker completed before his death in November doesn’t do Brick Mansions any favours, either.