Banlieue 13 - Ultimatum (District 13: Ultimatum)

2009

Banlieue 13 - Ultimatum (District 13: Ultimatum)

Critics Consensus

District 13 bites off more than it can chew with its political subtext and questionable script, but the many action sequences are never less than entertaining.

74%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 74

55%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,975
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Movie Info

The loud, intense, and explosive action saga Banlieue 13: Ultimatum is a sequel to the 2004 European blockbuster Banlieue 13. This second installment was directed by Patrick Alessandrin but initially gestated from the vision of writer-producer Luc Besson, also responsible for scripting and producing the first go-round. Ultimatum unfurls three years after the original, in the slightly dystopian realm of suburban Paris, circa 2013. Ultra-violence now riddles that sphere -- to such a degree that cops have imposed a lockdown on the area, to little avail. Significantly, the neighborhood is also formally subdivided into ethnic enclaves, including Arabic, Asian, Caucasian, and African. As the tale opens, a crack team of rogue cops pulls off a police assassination inside of the district, prompting the police chief (Daniel Duval) to try to persuade the president (Philippe Torreton) to bulldoze the area and let the cops cash in on the turf's real estate value. In response, two of the said rogues, Damien (Cyril Raffaelli) and Leito (David Belle), hit the streets, guns blazing, and exude all of the force at their disposal to save the region from complete obliteration.

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Critic Reviews for Banlieue 13 - Ultimatum (District 13: Ultimatum)

All Critics (74) | Top Critics (22)

  • No need for CGI when you've got sweet moves, fast feet and a bottomless hoard of adrenaline.

    Mar 5, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • This sequel to the French actioner District B13 (2004) offers more of what made the original such a sublimely stupid pleasure.

    Feb 25, 2010 | Full Review…
  • If anyone is going to persuade fanboys to attend a movie with French subtitles, that man is Luc Besson.

    Feb 25, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • This is the first action movie in which bombs serve a humanitarian end.

    Feb 18, 2010 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • This tale of conspiracy and corruption, directed with adrenalized pleasure by Patrick Alessandrin and written by a reinvigorated Luc Besson, has a brain.

    Feb 12, 2010 | Rating: 3/4
  • It's easy to call this film a video action game starring real people, but that "real" part means a lot. I'd rather see a world-class martial artist like Raffaelli do his thing instead of a CGI simulacrum.

    Feb 12, 2010 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Banlieue 13 - Ultimatum (District 13: Ultimatum)

  • Feb 28, 2014
    What do you get when you take District 13 and take away the very thing that people loved about the first movie, the parkour-influenced action scenes and in its place you shoehorn in a politically-charged story that nobody could possibly have cared about? Well, you get District 13: Ultimatum. I commend the crew for really trying their hardest to make the film more than just a mindless action movie. But the people that loved the first District 13, the people that wanted to see this film in the first place, really didn't want a story-heavy sequel. It's a gray area because doing exactly what the audience wants can be stifling, creatively. But straying too far away from a very successful formula would drive those very people away. And let me tell you, this politically-charged story isn't exactly subtle. It wears its message right on its sleeve for all to see and, again, I can't complain about the screenwriters trying to do something different with its sequel, instead of repeating what made it hugely successful, but I found the story to be really corny and cheesy. Perhaps, that was the intention. By the end, there's this B-movie charm to the story but it's not like that charm permeated throughout the entire movie, it's just came at the climax and the post-credits scene. For some reason the videogame series Saint's Row came up in my mind after watching the post-credits scene. The film isn't bad, I just wish, similarly to my complaints about the first film, that there had been far more action than there was. But what is there is quite good and fun. I got a Jackie Chan vibe from some of the fight scenes, where Damien would just tie up guys together with their own limbs. In a film where it's all about the athleticism of its two leads, and they definitely do get to showcase it, but it also feels like so much more could've been done with their talents than what they actually did. Still, this film is decent with its action sequences and its cheesy story is somewhat fun. It could've been better, but I've certainly seen worse.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Nov 06, 2013
    Riveting and action-packed, District 13: Ultimatum is a high-energy adventure. When a covert government agency attempts to provoke civil unrest in District 13 in order to force the President to launch a military strike, Leito and Damien must join forces once again and unite the district's gang leaders in order to expose the government conspiracy. The plot's pretty formulaic and the villains are one-dimensional stereotypes. But, the action sequences add a lot of energy to the film and gives it a fast pace. Additionally, the fight choreography is especially impressive, and has a good mixture of martial art styles. A fun and entertaining action film, District 13: Ultimatum is an exciting addition to the series.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 24, 2013
    Patrick Alessandrin screams parkour with <i>B13: Ultimatum</i>.<p>When it comes to plot details, there is enough to fill the 95 minutes of screen time this film offers. There is a sluggish start to get the storyline moving; however, that's not to say that the introduction sucks; far from it. It's just more character oriented fun that eventually leads to the meat of the story.</p><p>The action and parkour stunt-work is highly stylized and amusing. It is scattered throughout, although the more entertaining pieces do not take place in the film's final act.</p><p>David Belle and Cyril Raffaelli showcase their skills without fail. Elodie Yung, the lone female, steps in for a fight of her own. The rest of the antagonists are, well, antagonists.</p><p><i>B13: Ultimatum</i> is over the top in many places, but that works in this film's favor. "I'll distract them. You play spider-man."</p>
    JY S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 09, 2012
    Supercop Damien reunites with his old friend Leito to prevent a plot by a sinister government agency to level Banlieue 13 and profit from the rebuilding process. The original film was a braindead but fun XY pleaser with plenty of inventive action making it an entertaining ride. This rehash is basically the same plot with a slightly different conspiratorial spin and gang banger stereotypes thrown into the mix. It's a bit like Jackie Chan does The Fast And The Furious as a result and the fact that our first glimpse of Cyril Raffaelli is in drag shows that the grittiness bar has been suitably lowered. It's fast footed and brief enough to never bore but like the Taxi films before them, a case of lazy script writing being papered over by ever more ludicrous set pieces. Not a bad little diversion but the series really needs to stop here and now before it starts to embarrass itself.
    xGary X Super Reviewer

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