District B13 (2004) Film Review

David-Belle-can-move

You’ve got to love a film that is set in the near future, and things are far worse than could be possible in this short time. District B13 was set only four years into the future, in 2010. Things in parts of Paris have become so terrible that a wall has been built around the worst of the worst (District B13) and those within are ruled by thugs and the like. Working against this is Leito (David Belle) a rebel who wants drugs kept away from his area. When gang leader Taha (Bibi Naceri) kidnaps his sister, Lola (Dany Verisimo-Petit) in revenge for the drugs Leito destroyed, Leito executes a daring escape that results in Taha being brought to the police. What Leito is unaware of is that the police are being withdrawn from District 13. Leito is left in jail, his sister handed over to Taha by a corrupt and fearful police force. Six months later, a nuclear warhead has been stolen and found its way into District 13 and it is up to Captain Damien Tomaso (Cyril Raffaelli) to find and disarm it. He needs a guide, and Leito is it; if he can get Leito to agree.

It’s fast paced, there is heaps of action and fighting, lots of guns and (my favourite) a whole heap of running. Not just running, but jumping, leaping, climbing and seemingly flying through the air. It was hardly a wonder to discover that David Belle, playing the protagonist of the film, was the inventor of Parkour. If you don’t know Parkour, check it out on youtube. It’s amazing. To see this combined with an action film that has a decent storyline is truly awesome. What’s more, whilst women are extremely under-represented, the one key female character, Lola, is not some wussy victim. She’s a fighter and has some real guts.

I just discovered there is a sequel. Awesome.