Monday, January 04, 2010

Movie: District 13: Ultimatum (U.S. 2010)

Typically it’s several weeks into January before I see my first film released in that calendar year. 2008: Cloverfield, January 26. 2009: Taken, January 31.

But we are out of the dark ages, brothers and sisters. Let it be known that, through the miracle of On Demand, in 2010 I saw a 2010 release on January 1. I know it’s not exactly a flying car or a sassy robot maid. But I’m still kind of impressed.

In Luc Besson’s District 13: Ultimatum, there’s another conspiracy to annihilate one of Paris’s lesser, more polyglot precincts. Once again supercop Damien must team up with neighborhood hero Leito to save the day. There’s not as much parkour as in the original, I missed the grittiness of the first film, and the third act – in which District 13’s many ethnic gangs unite to raid a French seat of power guarded by soldiers who don’t use their guns – is completely ridiculous. Not bad, mind you, just ridiculous. On the plus side there’s a fight using a Van Gogh, and I am now in love with Elodie Yung of the razors in her ponytail. I have also been informed by a party who shall remain Rosemarie nameless that the sight of Cyril Raffaelli in go-go dancer drag not only justified the expense but may warrant a second look on the big screen.

At one point Raffaelli mentions that he’s about to be thrown into “a local Guantanamo,” and the bad guys are crooked cops allied with a military contractor called, I kid you not, Harriburton. America, the new global shorthand for movie villainy. Technology’s not the only thing that’s changed.