Foreign Review: District B13

Action filmmaker and producer Luc Besson has always had an eye for action and having the ability to showcase it in a strange and unusual way. He honed the skills of Jet Li and Jason Statham with glorious success. He even turned his ex-lover Milla Jovovich into a female wrecking machine.

Now Besson hopes to find the next great action star in French sensation David Belle who founded a new form of martial arts called parkour. This new form is basically where the artist attempts to pass obstacles in the fastest and most direct manner possible by running, jumping, climbing, sliding, ducking and so forth.

Co-writer Luc Besson and director Pierre Morel sculpt out a story where an undercover cop (Cyril Raffaelli) must infiltrate one of the nastiest neighborhoods in 2010 Paris. The neighborhood is District 13.

The cop is joined by a convict (David Belle) who will guide him in his pursuit to find a neutron bomb somewhere in the district. But the convict also has an agenda all his own. Don’t they always.

The film’s plot, setup, direction and cinematography leave a lot to be desired. But if they were all state of the art and amazing then I guess we wouldn’t really be able to see what Belle can do with his “parkour”.

The sequences where parkour is focused are amazing and the stunt work flawless. It kind of reminded me a lot of the better Jackie Chan movies. You know where you stop and say to yourself, how do they do that?

The acting in the film reminded me of old “Godzilla” movies or Power Rangers episodes because even though I saw the film with subtitles and in its original French it still looked like it was dubbed and the audio was horrendous.

A-class stunts + lame ass plot = rental. Or at least it does in my books.

1 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer.

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