If you’re looking for a movie that will keep your attention look no further than District 13, adrenaline-fueled blend of action and science fiction. It’s coming to us from a pervert who also happens to make great movies, Luc Besson. You must have seen at least one of his movies. I think that The Fifth Element and Taken are the most popular ones. I would also recommend checking out some of his other movies like Leon, Lockout, and Taxi.
This time he teamed up with director Pierre Morel to create something truly authentic. District 13 AKA Banlieue 13 is full of exciting fights and crazy stunts. You will see amazing action sequences based on parkour that will seem almost unreal. Parkour is this strange “sport” where people perform daring jumps and runs in an urban environment. They’re using streets and buildings as their playground oftentimes running across rooftops. If you want to know more, a whole new world hides behind a simple google search.
Now, the main story is also not too shabby focusing on the crime-infested slums populated by shade characters. I just think they needed to set their story more into the future because 2013 is just around the corner. The atmosphere is vibrant and the visual style appealing featuring that distinctly French color palette. The runtime of the movie is just eighty minutes making it a short but very thrilling ride.
Welcome to the year of our lord Cthulhu 2013. Poverty has overrun entire France and Paris has become a cesspool full of crime and drugs. To combat this issue the authorities simply sealed parts of the city and enforced strict checkpoints. They left the residents of these districts to fend for themselves. In one of them, District 13, we find Leito, a young man just trying to see another day. However, all of that will change when his sister gets into trouble with the local crime lord.
District 13 may seem just like another Jackie Chan movie with slight hints of Escape from New York if I might add. However, that doesn’t take away anything from its quality. This is an old-school action movie without special effects or those fucking wires. Just good old-fashioned beating combined with this new thing called parkour. It’s similar to one of the sleeper hits of the early aughts, Ong Bak starring Tony Jaa.
And while that’s a straight-up martial arts movie, this is a blend of science fiction and action. And a surprising amount of shootouts. You might call it a Gun Fu movie. All we’re missing are some chase scenes but that’s perfectly fine. Not five minutes go by before we get our next adrenaline hit. The character development also had to go but we all know why we’re here.
There is a sequel titled District 13: Ultimatum that’s also excellent so be sure to check it out. Which is quite strange considering how many sequels fail to live up to the standards of the original movie. In the end, I would like to mention that the star of this movie, David Belle actually invented parkour along with his father Raymond. So, if you wanna see the master at work, now’s your chance.
Director: Pierre Morel
Writers: Luc Besson, Bibi Naceri
Cast: Cyril Raffaelli, David Belle, Tony D’Amario, Bibi Naceri, Dany Verissimo, François Chattot