For those who don’t know, District 13: Ultimatum is the sequel to the 2004 film District 13 (aka Banlieue 13) a movie dedicated to highlighting “Parkour,” the physical discipline of running, climbing, jumping etc. as quickly and efficiently as possible through urban landscapes.
The actual plot of the first film involved a street punk named Leïto (David Belle, founder of Parkour) running, jumping and acrobating his way through the worst ghetto (District B13) in Paris, in order to stop a neutron bomb and save his sister. This sequel finds Leïto and his cop ally Damien returning to the walled-off ghetto of D13 two years later, trying to end the five-way gang war and bring peace to the sector before government goons frag everybody living behind the wall.
The diligent journalists of Row 3 tell us District 13: Ultimatum will be getting an Region 2 DVD release in the UK in late October. Fat lot of good that does me.
Ah well, for now I guess I’ll have to live vicariously through this wild trailer:
Parkour, when done well, is very impressive. Showing off physical skills has been the thrust of the entire kung-fu genre since its inception, so why shouldn’t the French get a crack at it? As mentioned, District 13 is the follow up to the successful Banlieue 13, which was also a movie that gave guys an excuse to hop through tiny windows to escape evildoers. Patrick Alessandrin, the film’s director, has helmed a handful of other french movies, including Mauvais esprit (2003) and apparently is not limited to movies about Parkour. That’s a good sign. David Belle, the man credited with founding Parkour, is one of the stars of the film. Sounds like a movie worth checking out – if you find yourself in a British version of Blockbuster any time this winter.
No official word on an American theatrical or dvd release, but the bold clairvoyants over at Row 3 have predicted a stateside release next year.
So do you think Parkour is enough to keep audiences entertained for the feature film-length of District 13: Ultimatum?
Bonus question: given that Hollywood seems happy to thow anything at all at American audiences (Because my answer to the first question was something like, “the film can’t be any worse than The Final Destination“), would you say that anything that’s expected to make money is a go? Or must studio-backed movies must meet certain standards regarding arc, conflict, etc. (even if it ends up being garbage)?
We’ll keep you posted on when you can expect to see District 13: Ultimatum stateside.