With ‘The Bricklayer,’ director Renny Harlin brings an effortlessly entertaining, action-packed thriller. Following the titular character, Steve Vail, an ex-CIA operative now laying bricks for a living, the film revolves around the man’s comeback mission after his old assignment, Victor Radek returns after his falsely assumed death. Radek has been dropping bodies all over Europe in an effort to frame his former Agency and incite an international war. Thus, with stakes at an all-time high, Vail, alongside his newbie partner, Kate Bannon, a stickler for rules, must foil Radek’s plans as they uncover a dark Agency conspiracy on the ride.
With all the building blocks of a spy flick, ‘The Bricklayer’ presents a grounded but engrossing plot that delivers a satisfying punch. Therefore, if the film has left you in the mood for more action-driven stories about political espionage and conspiracies like ‘The Bricklayer,’ here are some recommendations for you!
7. Fast Charlie (2023)
Starring Pierce Brosnan as the lead, ‘Fast Charlie’ is a quick-paced action thriller about a “fixer,” best known for his ability to resolve any issue with a firefight. The film’s premise begins with a hilarious mission, in which a logistical issue leaves Charlie Swift unable to deliver his target to the employer since the target’s lack of a head makes him unrecognizable. The mission introduces him to Marcie Kramer, the target’s ex-wife, who eventually becomes Charlie’s sole ally after a rival gang lays waste to Charlie’s crew and its boss, Stan Mullin.
Thus, with only his experience and one skilled taxidermist on his side, Charlie embarks on an adventure to uncover gang rivalries and exact revenge. This film matches ‘The Bricklayer’ in its action-heavy nature and provides an enjoyable tale with a no-nonsense protagonist and a dynamic duo in its center.
6. Sniper: Ultimate Kill (2017)
The seventh installation in the ‘Sniper’ film series, ‘Sniper: Ultimate Kill,’ presents a self-contained story about an efficient sniper, Brandon Beckett, teaming up with a joint task force. Under DEA’s Kate Estrada, Beckett and his team move against Colombian drug lord Jesús Morales, only to be bested by his highly skilled and well-equipped sniper known only as “El Diablo.”
Consequently, with a target on their back, Beckett and Estrada must go MIA and bring Morales and his master sniper down on their own terms. The professional relationship between the protagonists in this film will remain reminiscent of Kate and Vail from ‘The Bricklayer.’ Furthermore, the overall narrative will deliver a plot similarly constructed around compelling action sequences.
5. Red (2010)
If ‘The Bricklayer’ has left you intrigued by the lives of government agents post-retirement, ‘Red,’ starring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman, among others, may just be the film for you. The story revolves around Frank Moses, a former black ops agent, and his team of fellow retirees. Although the man has been living a peaceful civilian life for a while, trouble comes knocking on his door in the form of high-tech assassins.
Therefore, with his life on the line and a mystery to unravel, Frank finds himself reassembling his old team as CIA Agents William Cooper and Cynthia Wilkes attempt to neutralize them. Effectively blending comedy and action into one, this film presents an entertaining storyline that fans of ‘The Bricklayer’ might enjoy.
4. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
A comedic take on an international espionage story, ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ directed by Guy Ritchie, charts a riveting and hilarious tale about a joint mission between America and Russia in the 1960s. The story revolves around two agents, CIA’s Napoleon Solo and KGB’s Illya Kuryakin, long-time rivals for whom violent altercations on sight are the norm. Thus, it leads to complications when the pair discovers that a new threat on the horizon,
Victoria and Alexander Vinciguerra and their nuclear weaponry, is compelling their Agencies to join forces. Although ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ is an entertaining spy movie all on its own that ‘The Bricklayer’s’ fans are bound to enjoy, the dynamic between Solo and Illya presents an exaggerated version of the strife relationship between Kate and Vail in the latter film. Therefore, if ‘The Bricklayer’ left you craving the same, this film would make for a great addition to your watchlist!
3. Mission: Impossible III (2006)
While the entire ‘Mission: Impossible’ franchise will make for an excellent watch for people who like ‘The Bricklayer,’ the third installment in the series, ‘Mission: Impossible III,’ will be a particularly fun choice. The film follows Tom Cruise’s central character, Ethan Hunt, who has recently retired from active duty. However, once Owen Davian, an international arms dealer, emerges from the shadows and targets Hunt and everything he holds dear, including his fiance Julia, the former IMF agent must return to the field. Ripe with action and emotion, ‘Mission: Impossible III’ delivers a classic spy movie revolving around a veteran agent and a brand-new team.
2. Erased (2013)
‘Erased,’ led by Aaron Eckhart, charts a story about an ex-CIA Agent who finds himself dusting up his old skillset when a conspiracy threatens to ruin his life. Ben Logan, a single father to teenager Amy, lives a regular life as an engineer, working in the tech industry. However, his past life comes back to haunt him when the CIA targets him and attempts to erase all records of his existence, including his place of employment and coworkers.
As agents come after Ben and his daughter, the father must do everything in his power to keep his family safe and uncover the truth behind the conspiracy that is threatening his and Amy’s lives. ‘Erased’ shares many thematic beats with ‘The Bricklayer,’ including its critical depiction of the CIA and how complications within the agency can backfire on their former agent. As such, if you enjoyed those aspects of the latter film, you should definitely give this one a try.
1. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)
Another spy thriller adapted from the pages of a popular novel, ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’ has all the elements that ‘The Bricklayer’ fans will find compelling. As a covert analyst for the CIA, Jack Ryan isn’t used to the threats that come with being a field agent. However, the same changes soon after the man discovers a ploy against the U.S. economy brought about through a terrorist attack by the Russians. As a result, with the country’s future on the line, Jack finds his life quickly dissolving into chaos as he becomes a target for the Russians.
Depicting a sole CIA Operative and his handler’s venture into saving the U.S. from an international plot, ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’ and ‘The Bricklayer’ seemingly share a narrative core. However, each film executes the same in distinct ways, ensuring fans of the latter find something exciting and refreshing in the former.
Read More: Is The Bricklayer Based on a Book Series?