STARRING Cyril Raffaelli and David Belle
DIRECTED BY Pierre Morel
Opens Friday, June 2
If director Pierre Morel has his way, the world is going to be a scary place in 2010. Set just four years into the future, Morel has created a world in which people walk around freely with their automatic weapon of choice while customers at the grocery store are put off by the inconvenience of having their cashier kidnapped mid-transaction. Despite this exaggerated view of the direction the world is heading, District B13 is a guilty pleasure.
Action-packed from the opening scene, District B13 is more than just a fight movie. This is the kind of film where people do back-flips off tables when a simple leap would do. The kind of film where breakdance fighting isnt just allowed, its encouraged. Most importantly, its the kind of film where people attempt to escape buildings by running up to the roof instead of out the exit. The fight scenes are masterfully choreographed, so it shouldnt really bother those watching that there is a rope hanging down from the top of a building that serves no other purpose than allowing someone to jump out of a window and grab onto it. Logicians need not apply.
Amongst all this, a plot emerges. A cop (Cyril Raffaelli) and a criminal (David Belle) must join forces to stop a bomb from going off in the titular neighbourhood the most dangerous part of Paris. Almost by accident, the film raises some interesting, if not enthralling, philosophical questions, and brings in some clichéd political conspiracy theories to wrap it all up. Despite its faults, District B13 is great when taken for what it is a concise action flick that doesnt try to bore you with things like believability. Sometimes just watching a good breakdance fight is enough.