District B13 (Banlieue 13) Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.