Combustible Celluloid
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With: Cyril Raffaelli, David Belle, Philippe Torreton, Daniel Duval, Elodie Yung, MC Jean Gab'1, James Deano, Laouni Mouhid, Fabrice Feltzinger, Pierre-Marie Mosconi
Written by: Luc Besson
Directed by: Patrick Alessandrin
MPAA Rating: R for some violence, language and drug material
Language: French, with English subtitles
Running Time: 101
Date: 02/18/2009

District 13: Ultimatum (2010)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Slum Lords

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

A sequel to District B13 (2004) with a new director, Patrick Alessandrin, this new film certainly isn't perfect. It isn't as slick or clean as its predecessor, and it stumbles a few times over the political axe it wishes to grind. And even though its heart seems to be in the right place, it uses some cartoonish stereotypes that don't seem to mix with its political ideas.

In Paris of 2013 (three years after the previous film), a video depicting some criminals shooting up a police car hits the internet, causing a major riot in the walled off, crime-ridden city districts. Cop Damien Tomaso (Cyril Raffaelli) is suddenly arrested for drugs (which were planted in his kitchen). He calls his old pal Leito (David Belle), who lives in the walled-off "District B13," to help break him out of prison, and together they try to figure out what's going on. It turns out that the video was a setup, designed and directed by some thugs from a big corporation, with an evil plan. Leito and Damien realize that they can only stop such a powerful foe by assembling a team of criminals from within the district...

The martial arts and "parkour" moves are still dazzling and exciting, even if they seem a bit more forced this time around, and the movie manages to move briskly and cheerfully through its running time.

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