Thursday, August 27, 2009

100 Posts! & a review of B13-U

Hey guys, thanks to the readers this blog has in fact attained 100 posts. (Although I fancy it is probably just my imagination there are any readers other than someone I know).

Thank you very much and see ya on 150! To think this blog started as a spur of the moment thing, I think I will enjoy this very much and yeah, reverting to the old skin, loved that one better anyway.


B 13 U Banlieue 13 Ultimatum (District 13 - Ultimatum/Finale)

The Story:
It is the year 2013, France.

Economy has crumbled on the bad side of town, and people with no job, no hope in attaining stature in the tiered society of France gathered in the corner of the now highly walled, jealously guarded side of France's ghetto, called District 13 which is governed by thugs, carjackers, drug dealers, weapon dealers and terrorists lookalikes of all looks and races. It was unlawful cowboy district right in the heart of France, where all the bad people go and live their lives, away from the proper and the rich.

The high walls marked the different area of France, governed only by unwritten laws spoken, and men with scary faces mark each morning with violence served as breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner. Here lived once a pair of friends, Damien and Leito, running freely about within the walls of the unruly. Life flourishes here, even in the painful reality of improper jobs from drug dealing to carjacking, at least where they are, they have morals. It was many years later, and the two friends mentioned went their separate ways.

Supercop Damien just wanted to be the man he wants to be, a loving man for his woman, and a job as the head captain of the special force meant he can do so, provided he downed a lot of effort for it. The efforts range from performing undercover duty, gang infiltration, and taking them down all on his own without a single bullet fired, and his extraordinary Le parkour (freerunning) skills that are mad mad insane.

However, things change when after the last of his mission having to infiltrate a drug ring and busted it successfully while saving a Van Gogh priceless work of art stolen from the galleries of one of many France's museums. He came back home, only to find he has got framed by the police he has served for 15 years and ranked so high among them and trusted. They found drugs by packets inside his kitchen, a careless planting of evidence clearly was in play, but resistance is futile for he too, is the police.

Meanwhile, a close friend of Damien, street punk, Parkour specialist, and an all out freedom fighter for District 13, Leito smells a rat crawling about among the higher ranks of society. A police car with dead policemen were sent to District 13 where crime is rife and is the ghetto ran by 5 unique gang bosses all vying for control of the drug trades, weapons trade within the unlawful part of 2013AD France.

Of course, this also means the government and the secret DISS Department of Internal Social Security does not take kindly to the unrest that runs next door to France's refined stature as one of the world's G8 countries. In fact, the drug trade sees entire truckloads of drugs emptied in the gardens of sin in France, and that of course, meant they have to put a stop to it, drastically.

The police car earlier mentioned sparked a 'crossing of borders' between government men and the unlawful brotherhoods of gang members that lay on the borders of the high walls of District 13, and they opened fire at them. That crossed the line, as police are never allowed to start killing the people of the ghetto, and surely not if the ghetto were to open fire on the police. France law is absolute, and that line is crossed, District 13 must pay in blood.

The DISS mentioned about bombing the place flat, along with its unruly scum that lives inside the cockroach infested slums of District 13. However, much laid in balance of camber, as only Damien knows that someone knows he is from there, and someone is making a profit from all this seemingly uncalled for prejudice against the residents of the slums. Will he and Leito be able to stop the evil government dogs?


The Verdict:
B13-U is the 'ultimate' as the name suggested, installment for the previous movie, B 13.

Armed with Parkour acts of leaping off entire buildings without breaking a single leg bone, to shifting one's weight with a single push up bar and jumping into tight windows; the movie remarks like a cool Jackie Chan movie with the works of an actual story.

B13-U reminds me of the Jackie Chan Rush Hour franchise because of how closely it resembled in general to the idea of it, two friends from very different backgrounds currently come together to face a common enemy not unlike what they know. Where the good guys are the bad guys, and the bad guys are not necessarily bad. They say justice does not simply run in black or white, and that is especially true for this story when the police force that Damien has served loyally for many years turned on him by planting evidence of drug abuse in his home.

He was forced to take action, calling Leito over and indeed, sought to turn the tide. The movie starts with a bang and didn't end with it sadly, however, much of the action compensate for some of the best man-chasing scenes ever with Damien and Leito showing what the human body is capable of withstanding beyond fist and punches, but reflexes and ability to jump higher than anyone. The leap of faith as they say in the art of Parkour, is really daring to take the first leap.

Truth to be said, this film deserved so much better recognition, explosive action was guaranteed, and even a taste of unique French R&B music is behind every single scene, hip hop too. Ever wondered how it would be if our government decided to slam all the guys in a free for all slammer governed by only the men with guns and perhaps a heart? This is what free country is, right in the heart of France. One is given the exact idea of how we can clear the ghetto, if only someone would just speak up for them who live in it.

The story gives premise to the idea that even those living in the slums want an equal chance at life, so they don't have papers or birth certs, but they want a chance at college, some of them are smart and wants to work, but no, the government rather bomb them to kingdom come inside the slums because to them, the bigger picture was the slums were filled with drug dealers and illegal immigrants. Why have them around when you can be rid of them? DISS plays a role unlike any government agency to wipe out, plant evidence and manipulate the horde of government peons to work for them, even the president himself.

Naturally, one does not expect much of a film in terms of character. Except for dastardly charming Leito, played by David Belle:
(He has an explosive body by the way, and he does his own parkour stunts) The rest of the cast of gang bosses seemed to be on par with generic racial stereotypes. There is the Asian kung-fu bitch (looks like Bai Ling), the Mid-easterner who deals with Arabic carpets, the Hispanic lookalike who build bombs, the Neo Nazi superpunk who jacks cars and headbutts people, and the African gang boss all seemed a bit....racist. No deeper layer intended otherwise I suppose, but the generic stereotyping is a bit off my books in recognition.

Nonetheless, one can certainly expect lots of entertainment for this movie, I am being optimistic of course, if you don't like Die Hard, you probably won't enjoy this as much as I did.

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