After Parkour speed-vaulted its way across the Atlantic, gaining sporadic mainstream attention, America devoted an entire movie to the sport. And what’s more American than a remake? Enter “Brick Mansions,” the 2014 action thriller that was pretty much a redo of “Banlieue 13.” It even starred David Belle alongside Paul Walker, who was fresh off some of the most successful movies in the “Fast and Furious” franchise.
The “Brick Mansions” was directed by Camille Delamarre, whose previous experience was mostly in editing, and Luc Besson maintained a presence by helping out on writing duties. Following a very similar story to its French counterpart, “Brick Mansions” moved the action from Paris to Detroit (though the film itself was actually shot in Montreal), where a particularly impoverished area of the city had become so dangerous the authorities decide to wall it off. Inevitably, Walker’s undercover cop, Damien Collier, found himself within the containment zone, battling all manner of dangerous folks alongside Belle’s ex-con Lino Duppre.
Throughout their intense adventure, both Walker and Belle display some impressive Parkour abilities, with Walker having been trained by the “father” of the sport himself. As the actor told GQ:
“[Belle]’s just a flipping stud. We’ve been running around so much I’ve become part monkey. I’m a pretty agile guy, especially being taller and having done martial arts from about the age of 13, but Parkour is one of those sports that I wish I’d discovered sooner. When my nephew first showed me I thought, ‘Damn, I’m too old for this.’ But David’s just turned 40 and I see his physicality, what he’s capable of and I figure I can probably do it too. Obviously not as well as him because he’s been doing it his whole life, but it’s fun; it’s a challenge.”