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“District B13”
Taylor Carlson
Studio: Magnolia
Genre: Action
Special Features: None

District B13 (originally titled Banlieue 13 in its native France) is directed by Pierre Morel, and stars Bibi Naceri, David Belle, Cyril Raffaelli, Tony D'Amario, and Dany Verissimo. ***

District B13 takes place in France in the not-so-distant future. The worst parts of the country have been literally sealed off by walls, isolating and quarantining the residents within. In these sectors there is no law and order, and the drug lords reign supreme. One man refuses to put up with the drug lords, and destroys a valuable shipment. His sister is abducted in retaliation, and his plot to rescue her fails, landing him behind bars. Eventually, he joins forces with an undercover officer - and the twosome must find a deadly neutron bomb before it can be set off. ***

As far as “purely action” movies go, District B13 is a fine French import. It's light on the story and plot development, but when it comes to action and stunts, the film is on a plane all its own - and the film spares no expense on the thrills. The movie feels more like a collection of stunts and action scenes than something with a flowing, truly coherent storyline. But at the end, after having been thoroughly entertained by all of this, who am I to complain? If it's action you seek, this is your film. ***

The personnel who worked on this film really show their stuff off in the action scenes, making the entire movie entertaining. Belle and Raffaelli are more than just actors, they largely do their own stunt work - and the results speak for themselves. The filmmakers here edit these action scenes excellently, and when you watch the movie, you'll see that the results speak for themselves. The crew here, on both ends sides of the camera, accomplishes everything they set out to do. ***

Yes, the characters are a bit on the shallow and one-dimensional side. But this isn't the kind of movie that puts its emphasis on character development. For action fans, there's no finer foreign film. ---

Image And Sound:

My review is based on a screener disc, so picture quality on it doesn't represent the commercially-released disc. ---

Special Features:

None on the screener disc I reviewed.

Final Words:

District B13 is a fun-filled, non-stop, action-laden thrill ride that makes no apologies for what it is - and is all the more entertaining because of it. If you're looking for a dosage of cinematic action, District B13 is for you.


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