District B13

"Weak"

District B13 Review


You've got to hand it to Luc Besson: The guy knows how the system works. After creating one of the best crime films of the '90s (1994's The Professional), Besson started working on scripts and producing, while also directing the exhaustingly stylistic The Fifth Element. Besson makes most of his money these days by writing and producing action flicks that often specialize in stunts and kung fu. At last we left him, he was pairing an aerobatic Jet Li with a piano-playing Morgan Freeman in Unleashed. Now, he goes back to his native France for the futuristic action flick District B13.

Leito (David Belle) has just stolen a mighty big amount of coke from Taha (Bibi Naceri) and is in the middle of disposing of it when he hears gunshots. It's Taha's trusty henchman, K2 (Tony D'Amario), dismissing Leito's bodyguards. Leito escapes his certain fate in the first of many acts of gymnastic fighting and running. In retaliation, Taha kidnaps Lola, Leito's little sister, and gets the cops to take in Leito. Six months later, Leito is released by undercover cop Damien (Cyril Raffaelli) to save District B13 when Taha stumbles on a test bomb that could wipe out everything in an 8km radius of where it lands. Together, they strike out to get the bomb and save Lola with their necks intact.

Let's not kid ourselves here. This film is about the action and, for the most part, it delivers. Both Belle and Raffaelli are stuntmen who are specialists in the French acrobatic fighting style known as Parkour. The fights are extremely exciting and well choreographed (by Raffaelli). In fact, much like Poseidon, District B13 might be the only other summer film that doesn't attempt to be more than it is. Every piece of dialogue is so trite and embarrassing that it becomes clear that all we are supposed to care about is the fighting and the narrow escapes.

Too bad there aren't really enough fights to keep you completely enthralled. The battle with the big baddy, cutely nicknamed Yeti, goes very quickly and is boring once you realize how Leito is disposing of him. Also, the ending pushes the "we are all equal" card a little too much, spoiling all the good-hearted fun that has been going on so far. There are moments that make up for it, but they aren't plentiful enough to save the film from its spectacle genre.

Where Mission: Impossible 3 and the unforgivable X-Men: The Last Stand tried to boost runtime by stuffing cheap sentiment into the gaps between action, District B13 proudly states its vanity and hollow entertainment value. In what is quickly turning out to be one of the worst summer movie seasons in years, you've got to respect it. Either way, Besson is still on his way to the bank.

Aka Banlieue 13.

Down for the count.



District B13

Facts and Figures

Run time: 84 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 10th November 2004

Box Office USA: $1.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $11.2M

Budget: $15M

Distributed by: Magnolia Pictures

Production compaines: EuropaCorp, TF1 Films Production, Canal+

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Fresh: 88 Rotten: 22

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Pierre Morel

Producer:

Starring: David Belle as Leïto, Tony D'Amario as K2, Bibi Naceri as Taha Bemamud, Dany Verissimo-Petit as Lola, Nicolas Woirion as Corsini, François Chattot as Krüger, Patrick Olivier as Le colonel, Tarik Boucekhine as Yoyo, Jérôme Gadner as K2 boy 1, Samir Guesmi as Jamel, Warren Zavatta as Para 3, Turan Bagci as Gorille entrée Marronniers, Grégory Jean as Para 2, Dominique Dorol as Cerbère Taha, Azad as Tarik, Ludovic Berthillot as Le gros mercenaire, Chamsi Charlesia as Garde 2, Nicolas Wan Park as Le Chinois, Gilles Gambino as Garde 1, as Capt. Damien Tomaso

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.