DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

You met me at a very strange time in my life...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Film Review: District 13



District 13 (15)
Dir. Pierre Morel

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

What is it with Violent French men eh? It seems that in addition to their now world famous skills at head butting Italian football opponents, they can also sometimes be found running up walls…
Welcome to a near future France, where owing to an above average outbreak of lawless behaviour (possibly brought about by their world cup capitulation?) they’ve decided to simply wall off some of the less salubrious suburbs of Paris. This ghettoising policy quickly leads to criminals taking over and flooding the areas with drugs and stupid henchmen. But on these mean streets arises a hero named Leito (played by David Belle - the highly athletic co-inventor of the insane sport known as Parkour, which consists of moving freely in a natural area, i.e. climbing on buildings, leaping up and over whatever is in your way etc….). Leito is an ex-thug with a conscience and we meet him as he’s busy spoiling a drug lord's million euro stash of class A substances which surprisingly doesn’t go down all that well with the slimy crime boss. As luck would have it though at the very same time another hero is arising - Damien (Cyril Raffaelli), an undercover police officer, apprehends a mob lord in a shootout scene that is up there with the all time best…
And so it is that these two heroes are teamed up and given the virtually impossible mission to infiltrate notorious ‘no go area’ District 13, defuse a stolen neutron bomb – preferably rescuing Leito’s cute sister from the crime boss at the same time.
If you think this all sounds like just another excuse for lots of tasty big screen action violence, then you’re completely right. And District 13 really delivers big time on the action – the many fights are crunching affairs, peppered liberally with serious “ooh that’s got to hurt” moments. The stunts on the other hand are just amazing, this is the closest thing to ‘you’ll believe a man can fly’ sans red cape and kiss curl. Raffaelli and Belle redefine the art of being chased – there is pretty much nothing that can get in their way which is highly impressive but should also carry an enforceable ‘don’t try this at home’ warning.
It’s all completely over the top and instantly forgettable, but having said that it’s also much more entertaining than the many subtitled French films.


Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):
Action öööö – zut alors - this is the only reason to see the film!
Laughs öö – some laughs but not many
Horror öööö – as in 'arrggghh - I'm injured!'
Babes ööö – Dany Verissimo is a hot French chick...

Overall ööö (worth checking for the amazing action but no classic)


"the 'don't play with guns message really wasn't working"


"this crim character looks a LOT like my mate Alan Masters!"

Darkmatters: H O M E

1 comment:

Michael Leahy said...

"Banlieue/District 13" is the single most-requested expression on my website, for some reason. It is good fun. It's just a shame that they forgot to write a script to go along with the action.

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