District B13 (Banlieue 13) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 17, 2006
It's great over the top fun. A smart, funny and highly entertaining film packed with incredible wall to wall action. Ong Bak meets Escape from New York. An unstoppable thrill ride that delivers the goods and incredible aerobic stunts. Its a head bashing good time. It's fast, furious and spectacular entertainment. It's loaded with great chases, awesome fight sequences and terrific gun battles. Director, Pierre Morel and Writer/Producer, Luc Besson bring a tremendously exciting and new breed of action film. David Belle and Cyril Raffaelli bring on great chemistry as well as their incredible skills in martial arts and parkour. An 85 minute, testosterone-injected roller-coaster ride that's one of the most visually memorable action films in years.
Super Reviewer
½ March 13, 2007
Pierre Morel gets District B13 in, over, and around the block.Everything about this film is quick. The pacing of the story feels the need to sprint to the finish, yet it easy enough to follow. The dialogue is straight to the point and hastily executed. Do the math and it all leads to a brief run time of 70 minutes. Talk about short and sweet.The action relies heavily on parkour and the introduction for each of the protagonists deliver some highly amusing pieces. The stunts are solid and the sequences are fast-paced with little in the way of slow motion. The fighting is also stylized with some parkour elements thrown in.David Belle and Cyril Raffaelli are all over the place, while Dany Verissimo provides some much needed girl power on screen. Bibi Naceri and Tony D'Amario are your typical drug gangsters.There really isn't much to District B13, but as a quick action adventure, it delivers.
Super Reviewer
½ April 29, 2007
A crime riddled district of Paris is walled up and abandoned by the authorities, but when a neutron bomb is stolen by its crime boss, a lone cop is sent in to defuse it. Escape From New York meets Ong Bak in this frenetic French action flick that's very much in the tradition of Luc Besson. The whole "near future" premise is really just an excuse to make you swallow the greater implausibilites in the plot, as there's little here to mark it out as sci-fi. It's really just a series of high octane shoot outs and bone crunching fight sequences as a buddy duo join forces to reach their respective objectives; the bomb and the rescue of a resident's sister. Thankfully there's no corny love interest and the buddy partnership works quite well because of the lack of idiotic one liners and macho bullshit you'd get in a Hollywood equivalent. It's a total no-brainer and the plot gets thinner and thinner as it goes (the best sequences are all at the beginning, before they set out on their mission) but the boys will enjoy the male bonding and non stop action and the girls will enjoy the sight of a constantly shirtless David Belle. Dumb but fun.
Super Reviewer
August 15, 2011
It may not serve as the most original film when you think about the story, but the atmosphere, the look, and the events are all very new and awesome to watch. As two unlikely men are teamed up to disarm a bomb stolen from a gang in Paris, they find trouble along the way, falling into predicaments leading to action sequences that will take your breath away. The choreography is brilliant, the action is top-notch, the story is believable but does reach a few over-the-top moments, and the editing is done so well that any viewer will be happy that they can follow every move by the main cast. From parkour to true explosive action, District B13 is a full-on adrenaline-fuelled-thrill-ride.
Super Reviewer
March 29, 2007
Awesome non-stop action, acrobatic, martial arts and apocalypse madness French film I ever saw since Hong Kong and Thailand movies. Cyril Raffaelli and David Belle are fantastic in their own fight and acrobatic scenes that surprised me and became exciting to watch.
Watching Belle escape from an apartment building while chased by thugs is like watching poetry in motion. The movements are so graceful and fluid, and the things he does are amazing, because it is very evident that he's performing the stunts himself and that there's no safety equipment involved. He scales the sides of buildings 20 stories up, he jumps from rooftop to rooftop, he even slips past thugs in a narrow hallway by bouncing up the walls. And not to be outdone, Raffaelli has some great martial arts scenes, especially a long sequence in a backroom casino.
The whole ghetto atmosphere works really well. Concrete and poverty works fine as scenery. The spectacular stunts are real, not done with special effects. The direction and the story are also good, hooking the attention until the very last scene.
I recognized Raffaelli who appeared as the villian in Kiss of the Dragon and Die Hard 4.0 (aka Live Free or Die Hard), he should be the next new Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Super Reviewer
September 7, 2010
F-U-N!!! Mediocre storyline, but fantastic fast-paced action scenes. Hard to believe no special effects were involved in all the jumping parkour scenes...amazing! Apparently soon to be an American version (as usual), and I can totally see why. I vote that they use both Belle, and Raffaelli again. I don't see how Hollywood could do any better than those two. Kudos!!!
Super Reviewer
April 9, 2007
Is there anything more bad-ass than a parkour filled action film fueled by French hip hop?
Super Reviewer
½ October 5, 2009
Welcome to Paris. On the left is the Louvre. On the right is the Eiffel Tower. In front of you is.... District 13.

Set in the future where ghettos sprawling with crime are encased within stone walls, District 13 is the largest, nastiest and most violent.

Its a French movie of course... but action needs no translation and from the get go, you are in for one heck of a roller coaster ride in the tradition of the Transporter movies. Parkour is greatly used in the flick, but its great.... nothing tame, all wild style, guns, car crashes and good old martial arts.

Dont worry about the indifferent acting, weird music and other things... its an action movie with real stunts and proper stuntmen/actors doing the job. No BS computer gimmickery, just good ole flesh n bone, wires and padding action.

Worth watching!
Super Reviewer
½ August 29, 2009
Unpredictable and cool.Real action, that makes you feel you are moving even if you are sitting at a chair,fast french dialogues and parkour........
Super Reviewer
June 14, 2006
A lot of bad things could be said about this French action movie. That it steals vital plot parts from Carpenter's "Escape from New York", that the characters are mere stereotypes saying stereotype things or that the techno soundtrack is more annoying than memorable. The reasons all that doesn't matter all that much and this film works anyway are the impressing artistic fitness of the two main characters and the fun action scenes they deliver, while the whole flick doesn't take itself more serious than necessary. Especially the first Parcours action scene is really impressive and fun, because you see that it worked without special effects, thanks to Parcours inventor and main character David Belle. Some of the dialoges are even good for a laugh or two and although the showdown doesn't quite live up to the promising set up, you won't regret having spent those 90 minutes watching, if you are a fan of the Jason-Statham-kinda-action.
Super Reviewer
April 26, 2009
In the usual big-budget American action movie of those days, there would be, besides the action, a love story and a bad boy redemption. No such crap here, this movie is much close to "Escape from New York" (I'd say it is even a little kind of a remake) than to an usual action blockbuster. There is not a lot of moral but some kind of a political message about the french suburbs. Anyhow the action is great, the acting is surprisingly good (even if I'm sure that the young Dany Verissimo - the girl - is not very well used). So ? Worth watching. Violent, like kids schoolyard games, not horrific (no torture, no blood), not "adult" (even if Dany Verissimo happens to be a famous adult movie actress), but not too unbelievable either : while you watch, you're in, you believe in all, the action and the plot
Super Reviewer
½ August 4, 2006
In a not too far away look into the future, somewhere in Paris we have a gang run ghetto where nobody enters and nobody leaves.

The film oozes non-stop Action, which welcomes a new generation of Martial Arts stars, if you haven?t seen it, at least take a peek at the chase/stunt scene, it?s stylish, fast and thoroughly entertaining.

The music throughout the film, sets a fast pace to the Action and storyline. The opening sequence shows some creative camerawork and I feel perhaps that the trailer for this film may haver undersold the film ever so slightly in that it makes it look like a very average action film, when in fact it was of pretty high quality and filled with mesmerising content.

I know I will be watching this one again very soon!

Just one thing, I have noticed people have commented on the American dubbed voices - there is only one way to watch this and that is in French with the sub-titles.
Super Reviewer
June 11, 2006
Le commissaire: Shit. Can't you settle your score somewhere else? 'Cuz we're closing up here.

Probably the best action movie of 2006, that no one will have seen. Very cool visual style, cool stunts without the aid of wires or CG and even some good twists. The best comparison I've heard, Ong Bak meets Escape from New York.

I would say you don't need to worry too much about the plot, but it is somewhat well planned out, bringing in two different stories that eventually connect.

Damien: But it will kill millions.
Taha: Ah, but they should have thought of that when they made it, for example, eh?

The story is set slightly in the future, in an unfavorable district of France. Its been walled up with drug dealers and criminals all around. One man fights inside to stop the corruption but is eventually imprisoned by corrupt police.

A few months later, the big criminal leader obtains a nuclear device, set to blow in 24 hours, leading to an expert undercover cop teaming up with the imprisoned man from early on to stop the bomb from going off. Action ensues.

The movie also defies a lot of conventional plot points by changing around the obvious results that would occur in any standard action movie.

Still, this film is a large excuse to showcase the extreme jumping sport Parkour or free running, which is a lot of fun to watch in itself.

Damien: [impressed, after watching Leito tie up Yeti] Where did you learn that?
Le´to: A cookbook or some official manual... I don't remember.
Super Reviewer
½ January 16, 2009
View some parkour and advanced combat aswell as a series of weapons, set in the future of a Paris suburb, something like La Haine but the DVD I watched had a dubbed version which was actually kinda cool, like some old dubbed Chinese Kung Fu Movie. Bad storyline.
Super Reviewer
½ July 18, 2008
Kinetically charged, action thriller from France filled with dizzying stunt sequences that were completed without the use of wires or computer generated effects. Stars David Belle and Cyril Raffaelli, both real stuntmen, join forces to do battle against a notorious gang leader who gets his hands on a nuclear warhead. If you love action flicks, you owe it to yourself to see this film!
Super Reviewer
August 3, 2006
Best action flick I have seen the whole summer. It makes "Click" look like shit from the street. Believe me,this movie is wall to wall action.
Super Reviewer
March 10, 2008
The sets, action, and cinematography are great, but this is more geared towards an action audience than a scifi audience as this is a more realistic dystopia. The problem though is that the story isn't original or engaging. Basically, this movie relies solely on its images to induce emotion in the audience. Nice flick, but I will probably never watch it again as it wasn't that compelling to warrant a second view.
Super Reviewer
½ January 15, 2008
A grip of action.
Super Reviewer
½ July 15, 2007
A visually stunning action movie with a stylish mixture of Parkour and martial arts. Set in the near future with a sci-fi theme to the storyline, it's reminiscent of a computer game without being cheesy thanks to a great script and plot.
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