Combustible Celluloid
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With: Cyril Raffaelli, David Belle, Tony D'Amario, Larbi Naceri (a.k.a. Bibi Naceri), Dany Verissimo, François Chattot, Nicolas Woirion, Patrick Olivier, Samir Guesmi
Written by: Luc Besson, Bibi Naceri
Directed by: Pierre Morel
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, some drug content and language
Language: French, with English subtitles
Running Time: 83
Date: 11/10/2004

District B13 (2004)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

A Walk in the Parkour

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This action film from Luc Besson's B-movie factory is one of his best. It highlights the discipline of Parkour, in which a person moves through and adapts to a given environment. The film is set in the future, where dangerous neighborhoods have been sectioned off and shut down, leaving the lowlifes within to fend for themselves. The hero Leito (David Belle) tries to bring down a gang leader, but winds up in prison, while his sexy sister (Dany Verissimo) is kidnapped.

Meanwhile, a cop (Cyril Raffaelli) has been charged with finding a bomb within District B13 and needs Leito to help. So after a prison break, they reluctantly team up -- each using their Parkour skills -- to find the bomb and bring down the bad guys. If you thought the French were wimps, you need to see this. Directed by Pierre Morel, it's lean and fast and slick, and lots of fun.

A sequel, District 13: Ultimatum, is due in 2010.

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