Writer: Luc Besson, Bibi Naceri (Screenplay)
Starring: Cyril Raffaelli, David Belle, Tony D’Amario, Bibi Naceri, Dany Verissimo-Petit, Francois Chattot
Plot: Set in the ghettos of Paris in 2010, an undercover cop and ex-thug try to infiltrate a gang in order to defuse a neutron bomb.
Tagline – Welcome to District B13 Welcome to the future
Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Quality Action
Story: District 13 starts in the near future well 2010 (it was the future when the film was made) Paris has blocked of ghettos which has only created more crime within the walls. Leito (Belle) is trying to fight a drug war himself against Taha Bemamud (Naceri) with his henchmen K2 (D’Amario) doing the leg work.
In an attempt to get back at Leito by taking his sister Lola (Verissimo-Petit) it only escalates the battle between the two. Trying to go to the cops, Leito is left locked up and Lola taken back, hooked up on the drugs by Taha who has taken over complete control of the district. Captain Damien Tomaso (Raffaelli) joins Leito to eliminate the threat after a neutron bomb is place in the middle of the district.
Thoughts on District 13
Characters – Captain Damien Tomaso is one of the best officers on thee force, he can go undercover to take down most criminals with his latest operation going perfectly, now he must work with Leito to return a stolen weapon which is due to explode within the day. Leito is a local resident of the district who has been trying to clean up the district, this ends him up in jail and being given a chance save his sister and end the war and get his freedom. The pair both uses their fighting and parkour skills to stay ahead of the game. K2 is the lead henchmen for Taha, he will confront any enemy before the fight even if he ends up looking like an idiot more often than not. Taha is the drug lord controlling the criminal activities in the district, he has an army that will not stop when it comes to following his instructions.
Performances – Cyril Raffaelli and David Belle are fantastic in the leading roles with their own style of parkour action which brings a new style of action to the already well know genre, we don’t have ropes or nets for most of the stunt work either. When we get to the supporting cast the villains are entertaining enough and give the heroes a chance to do what they do best.
Story – The story is simple and does borrow from the likes of ‘Escape from New York’ by having the districts used to control criminals, while not everyone is a criminal, we see a cop and a rebel needing to take down the leader and stop a weapon being used on the richer side of the country. The film does focus on the action more than anything, which can take away any deepness in the story, though the simplistic idea keeps the action flowing for the audience.
Action/Crime/Sci-Fi – The action is a mix of parkour and fighting which felt original at the time, certain stunt moments are fantastic to watch which feels like a breath of fresh air. The criminal world we are entering show us just how it can grow when the government give up on them and the sci-fi world shows us just how the future could become bleak when shutting people away.
Settings – The film shows us the district have been built up to keep people in only to turn them against each other and the outside world, it creates great moments of parkour for the action to take place in.
Final Thoughts – This is a wonderful action film that bought the audience parkour for the first time, something which has been used more famously in bigger movies since, while it doesn’t have the deepest story, it makes up for this with the action.
Overall: Action fans treat.