District 13

Viewed – 12 December 2009  DVD

Not to be confused with recent sci-fi blockbuster District 9, this French thriller from producer / writer Luc Besson follows the story of athletic, free-running street kid Lieto (David Belle), who after some nasty business with some gangsters, finds his kid-sister kidnapped as he falls into the hands of the local police.  Imprisoned and unable to save his sister, hope comes when an undercover cop (Cyril Raffaelli) breaks him out of a prison van and recruits him to infiltrate the district again, save his sister, and stop a bomb from exploding. 

Of course the plot is bonkers, with a magufin that’s been seen a million times, but hey, this is style-heavy, has much of the personality evident in Luc Besson’s directorial efforts like Nikita and Leon, but lacks a certain air of professionalism amidst some startling stunts, brilliantly choreographed martial arts and an electro-dance soundtrack that booms around the room.  The editing is a little too flash for its own good, and the characters wafer-thin at best, but it is a helluva lot of fun, and as a showcase for free running / parkour this is a must see.

Verdict:  3 /5

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