Movie of the Day – District B13
August 4, 2012 Leave a comment
I wish this district would have competed in The Hunger Games, Katniss and her bow would have been shit against some free running parkouring and an annoying French Techno soundtrack. Now I am sure someone is going to say that well, “there is a District 13 in the books and…..” SHUT UP. I read the series and they are not a parkouring district in that book.
A nuclear weapon has been stolen by the most powerful gang in Paris’ treacherous, walled-in ghetto, and it’s up to a determined cop and a vigilante criminal in search of his sister to infiltrate the sector, save the girl, and get the bomb out of the bad guys’ hands in an action-packed tale produced by Luc Besson and directed by cinematographer Pierre Morel. The year is 2010, and a massive wall has been erected to keep the violence of the Paris ghetto confined to District B13. Within these walls, gangs rules the streets and law enforcement is powerless. This time the gangs have gone too far, though, and when the authorities realize that a nuclear weapon has been smuggled into the district, specially trained policeman and martial artist Damien is assigned the task of retrieving the weapon of mass destruction before Paris goes up in flames. He’s not going to be able to do it on his own, though, and when Damien learns that breakaway bad guy Leïto’s sister has been abducted by the very same gang, the pair soon forges a tentative partnership that merges the power of law enforcement with the anything-goes attitude of the criminal element. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Christ, I didn’t realize that the movie had a story or plot or anything resembled a structural narrative that clues the audience in character motivations. All I saw was some of the most amazing stunt work and parkour battles ever put on screen. This movie kicks story line in the face and leaps over the bloated corpse of a script to bring us, well me anyways, the action goodness that I want to see.
Anyways, the action is where it’s at with this movie as producer Luc Besson brings us some of the best parkour use in Hollywood to a high flying action film. If you compare this movies use of the free running craze with that of Hollywood counterparts, you will find that they pale in comparison to B13. This is the sort of film that action directors wish they could emulate without it seeming fake and badly filmed. You have the two leads practically using the entire environment in a sandbox nature to produce stunning fight scenes and some lean looking chase scenes. There is never a dull moment in this movie, action wise anyways, which helps make up for the lackluster story and acting. Then again, I am not seeing this movie for finely crafted acting, rather I want dudes flipping off a balcony, crush some dude on to a table and then spin kick like 5 guys just because they happen to be there. I get all of that and more.
I have to say that this movie must have inspired The Raid Redemption, cause it is just a balls out action film with amazing fight choreography and jaw dropping stunts. This is what an action movie should be all about, not shaky cam shit and dudes who look like they are hugging instead of throwing punches. Distrcit B13 is a pure B-Movie and a fun one at that.
*images via RottenTomatoes