Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Movie Journal: District B13

Did you know that the French are actually well known for their action sequences in film? It's true. A rather recent example is the movie District B13(or Banlieue 13). In it, certain crime-polluted areas of France are being closed off into isolated districts. Cut off from the rest of the civilized world by thick concrete walls, the society slowly degenerates. Chaos reigns.

Things run this course until a gang from district B13 hijacks an armored car and accidentally sets off the timer of the nuetron bomb inside. In 24 hours, it will detonate.

The action itself delivers on this premise outstandingly, and the storyline is essentially eighty minutes of nonstop intensity. The main characters pull off all sorts of crazy stunts on their mission, often without trampolines or wires. Some would say the incredible sense of movement in each action sequence is proportionate compensation for a shallow plot, but District B13 is anything but guilty pleasure. Rather, what it lacks in "complexity" it more than makes up for in intelligent cinematography. In other words, don't get the wrong idea, because the plot is awesome.

District B13 is the best over-the-top action film in years. Wait; scratch that. It's not "over-the-top". The stunts were quite real. Maybe that's a good part of what makes this movie so darn cool.

9 out of 10

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