Banlieue 13 Review

All righty, well the Toronto Film Festival wrapped up a number of days ago and while I didn’t get a chance to see very much simply because I’m a poor, shell-of-a-man, I did manage to have open tickets to see as many midnight showings as I wanted. I managed to get to only 2. However, the lords-of-all-things-giddy came with me to my first screening: Banlieue 13. – Don’t leave yet it kicks ass and then a chunk.

Luc Besson, the genius who was in charge of releasing the orgasm of action Ong-Bak unto the North American Public, wrote this one and it’s directed by the guy behind the cinematography for Danny the Dog/Unleashed eariler this year -And it’s teaching a lot of action directors how to get things done in the process. Oh, if you haven’t seen Ong-Bak, you have something better to do than read this, so git.

Paris. In the not-to-distant future. When city districts become too violent for their own, or anyone else’s good, a giant wall gets built around the area. – It keeps all the scumbags in one place, you see.

The movie opens with a punch to the face. Seriously. Like Ong-Bak: no wires, no CGI just actual, real, mind-boggiling stunts. We follow an vigilante’s race to get out of the district, only to be betrayed and eventually be teamed up with a cop to breakback in: the cop needs to defuse a bomb, he needs a little payback. That’s reason enough for me, let the violence begin. That’s as far as intellect will take you with this movie as things like.. y’know.. plot are pretty simple. But the carnage, oh the carnage.

Everything is kept very light in the film – the dark seeds of violence etc etc are never explored. Light comic relief is littered throughout the film giving the whole show a very simple feel that is obviously focusing on action, stunts and yes, mindless fun. There’s no political statements, or deeper meaning (that I could tell anyway). It was all just a nice big experiment of sitting in a seat and getting your feel-goodness slapped around.

Clips over the past year have been abound on the Internet, almost everything you’d ever need without seeing the movie outright, is right here:
A flurry of Banlieue 13 Video

No word on Region 1 DVD releases yet, but if you happen to frequent DVD shops worth their spit or if you fancy ordering action flicks from across the galaxy, don’t be silly and miss this.

Now go see Ong-Bak.

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