Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Night Fu Review: District 13: Ultimatum

District 13: Ultimatum ★ ½ 
Solid, but nothing we didn't see in 
the original. 
So a few months ago I went on and on about Cyril Raffaelli and David Belle, the two foxy Frenchmen who starred in District B13 (2004, French title Banlieue 13). Now despite its super awesome stunts, I wouldn't have called it a martial arts film…but its sequel, District 13: Ultimatum (2009, French title Banlieue 13: Ultimatum) I believe, is. Hooray! That means I get to do another Fu Review, even if it's not an actual Kung Fu movie. I believe Raffaelli may be trained in Muay Thai (cue tingling of my lady-bits) but don't quote me on that. I just had my pupils dilated and I want to spend as little time staring at this screen as possible, so to hell with research.

Let me say right now, this movie is super cool. Like the original, it's set in a sort of not-too-distant-future dystopic Paris, out in the racially divided ghettos. Like the original, it's got amazing on-foot chases and fight sequences, a bit of romance, government intrigue, tongue-in-cheek moments of humor, and two hot dudes running about being impressive in a variety of ways. But that's sort of the problem…this sequel doesn't really give you anything you didn't already get from the first installment. In fact, the climactic scenes of both movies are strikingly similar. They made a movie that was equally good as its predecessor, but almost too equal. I feel silly asking a pretty innovative movie to be more innovative… I feel even more silly complaining about how they gave me more of all the stuff I loved in the first movie. But that is essentially what I'm doing.

Anyhow, it was a cool movie. I recommend it, even if it didn't rock my socks as hard as the original. Oh and two things you do get in this one that you don't in the first—Cyril Raffaelli in drag, and probably the best violent use of a Van Gogh painting that has been and will ever be seen on film.

The last time I gushed about these two, I showed a chase clip of David Belle. So this time, I'll share some of Raffaelli's handiwork—the aforementioned "painting fight". Blazzow!


  1. Ah! But the original is in the Netflix stream. You are becoming my personal tv/movie pimp. And I thank you. :D

  2. I know! What a tease I am. I think we rented it from iTunes…we must have, since we don't have a TV and those are our only two sources of movies. But I have faith it'll show up in Instant Watcher soon.

  3. I thought the original looked great...thanks for reminding me. I'm going to add it onto my Netflix queue. I watched Julie and Julia last night and cried like a baby. And now I'm feeling this intense need to cook beef bourguignon.