District B13 - quick review

Patrick Sun

Studio Mogul
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In the near future (takes place in France), some areas have become slums (i.e. Districts) and literally walled off for having undesirables, a by-product of the infrastructure being uprooted throughout the years. There are still decent people living in the districts (one being Leito), trying to keep his "home" livable, which means being a thorn to drug dealers, and other criminal elments. Damien is a cop sent in undercover to elicit Leito's help in averting a major disaster for certain cities/areas. They "team up" once a common enemy is identified, but they don't play from the same playbook, and both are head-strong in their problem-solving approaches.

I thought this was a decent action romp with minimal plot, but kept a good pace throughout most of the running time. I have no idea how the lead protagonists didn't break their legs jumping and landing from high places, and then add in all the frenetic and energetic chase scenes as well. Luc Besson was a producer, so that piqued my interest in the film.

I give it 2.75 stars, or a grade of B-.
 

ChrisBEA

Screenwriter
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Just saw a commercial for this. I had to stop and star, "What is this?" Thent he title came up at the end, and I knew I had to see it!
 

JeremyErwin

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According to IMDB, the original title of the film was "Banlieue 13". Technically, Versailles is a Banlieue, although the word is usually used as a euphemism for low-income housing projects.
 

BrianB

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Best action film so far this summer, and with a lot fewer special effects. And no Tom Cruise.

Not a perfect movie, but it doesn't overstay its welcome, and it keeps the pace up from beginning to end. Some great fight scenes, some great chase sequences.
 

Adam Portrais

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Yeah, I saw a trailer for this on HDNet and I gotta check this one out. Glad to see a few guys like it. Hope it comes around my neck of the woods.
 

Dave Hackman

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I saw this while on a trip to Nashville, and found it to be better then expected. I remember seeing this as an option during one of this years film festivals and wasn’t able to see it due to conflicting movie times. It appears to be available on DVD although I think a region free player is required.

This movie starts out great with a kick ass sound track that goes perfectly with Leito (David Belle) ability to jump all over the place as he runs through his apartment complex trying to out maneuver the local gangs. These thugs drive supped up cars with the main guy driving a Subaru.

Things slow down a bit when his sister finds herself a hostage and corrupt police place Leito in prison.

A weapon of mass destruction is stolen and placed in the District and it’s up to an ass-kicking detective Damien (Cyril Raffaelli) with the help a former resident and current prisoner to get it disarmed.

This was a lot of fun to watch and it’s hard to believe that it was made in 2004. I think its time for a worldwide sequel.

A
 

wallflips

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Alec Newcomb
I just picked it up on DVD a couple days ago (it was released in the U.S. on tuesday), after having only seen some clips on youtube. Despite the plot and acting being average, the martial arts and parkour scenes made it the purchase well worth while.

I give it:

A-

Anyone else pick up the DVD this week?
 

wallflips

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I was at Blockbuster last night and saw it there. I live in Cali so maybe it's just your local Blockbuster that didn't get it...?
 

Yumbo

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Chris Caine
Cool action and stunts.

The new THX trailer!!!
 

Kevin C Brown

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I just posted the following in the HD section, but maybe a different set of people would see it here.

Anyone watch this? I thought I saw a big plot hole, but I wasn't sure.

SPOILER ALERT:

OK, so the gov't sends a bomb into District B13. Then they send in supercop to make sure it's where it's supposed to be, and then enter a code to detonate it (which he thinks is to disarm it).

Huh? 1st: what was the countdown timer that the bad guys enabled? It obviously wasn't a timer to detonate it. So what was the countdown for? 2nd: It's in the future, and they didn't have GPS trackers so they could know that way where the bomb was? Why need supercop to go in there in the 1st place? 3rd: why have his own guys kill Taha? He was one of the better parts of the movie I thought.

I thought there was a good movie in there somewhere, but I was frustrated by those plot problems. Maybe that's why it never made it it over here. I expected more of Luc Besson.
 

Michael Reuben

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I'm not sure what you mean. It got about as wide a U.S. release as most films that require English subtitles. The only reason it didn't get wider distribution was linguistic.

If script issues alone could keep a movie out of multiplexes, we'd be spared a lot of dreck.


M.
 

Kevin C Brown

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Michael- Well ... I consider myself more of a film nut than most people, and, a) I do not remember this hitting the theaters, and, b) when I bounce the title off my other sci fi friends, they don't know what I'm talking about.

But maybe in my brain when I made that statement, is maybe the poor script was the reason why it didn't end up as an English language movie with a wider release, seeing as that's Luc's typical track record.

There *is* some really cool stuff in there. But ...
 

Michael Reuben

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You mean "his typical track record" for the films you know.
My favorite Besson film since The Fifth Element is Angel-A, which is in French, has apparently been heard of by almost no one, but I can assure you was released in theaters here, one of which collected the price of a ticket from me.

And ask your friends about Wasabi, another Besson script. He produced but didn't direct. In French, starring Jean Reno. It's on my "to watch" list.

M.
 

Kirk Tsai

Screenwriter
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FWIW, both District B13 and Angel-A played in Palo Alto, which is pretty close to Santa Clara.

This was one of those action movies that one just watches in amazement. Only the two recent Tony Jaa movies gave me the same sensation. None of these three movies impressed me very much outside of the action, but quite frankly, I don't care, it's a whole lot of fun.
 

ThomasC

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Thomas
Just watched it, loved it.

He kills his own men in the blink of an eye, and the guys were tired of it.
 

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