District 13: Ultimatum (Banlieue 13: Ultimatum)
January 23rd, 2010
Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing.
David Belle and Cyril Raffaelli kong into action once more to bring peace to District 13 and unity to Paris.
It has been three years since we last saw Leïto (David Belle) and Damien (Cyril Raffaelli) team up to stop a corrupt government from destroying the place that many call home… District 13. As promised by the end of the first film, the wall segregating District 13 from the rest of Paris was supposed to be torn down and the government was going to help rebuild District 13. Fast-forward three years: the wall still stands, and the condition within have worsened. Now, a top-level government agency called D.I.S.S. is attempting to coax the president into launching a nuclear strike into District 13 in order to profiteer from the rebuilding.
The plot is similar to the original movie with the small twist that five drug lords now control the insides of District 13, and the preferred method of destroying the district involve a civil war which would leave the president with no other option than to destroy 13 and start over. This worked in the first film and yet again proves to be a great plot to mix in with the amazing parkour techniques and martial arts fighting.
District 13: Ultimatum (Banlieue 13: Ultimatum) shines throughout the film with its action scenes. The fighting scenes will keep your adrenaline running as you can feel the bone-crunching impact of each blow and the precision of each strike. Cyril’s martial arts have only improved since I first saw him in Kiss of the Dragon in his fight scenes against Jet Li. His mixture of parkour with martials arts make him a fierce fighter—and for some amazing scenes throughout the film. David and Cyril dazzle us with all types of parkour moves, from jumping and clearing 20-foot gaps between buildings to hurling out of a second story window onto the rooftop of a car. The father of parkour, David Belle, hasn’t let any of his followers down with moves that defy gravity, most notably the bar swing leap to the terrace above him.
Parkour is the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one’s path by adapting one’s movements to the environment. The object of parkour is to get from one place to another using only the human body and the objects in the environment. Parkour is often seen practiced in urban areas because of the many suitable public structures available such as buildings and rails.
In 2002, Parkour hit the U.S. and has since become very popular among athletics of all shapes and sizes, including myself. I had the pleasure of learning a few movement techniques and philosophies from a New York parkour community, known as Urban Vanguard. New York in itself has many structures on which we can use our discipline; however, many are not safe and most are closed off. The New York Department of Transportation is currently attempting to shut down one prime spot for traceurs (practitioners of parkour) for a four-year construction process. This not only hurts the parkour community, but also hurts the skating community, as skaters have used the Brooklyn Banks since the 1960′s. It is a historical presence and a place to safely enjoy the passion of parkour and skating. The Banks will be shut down later this month, but tomorrow, January 23, 2010, there will be a mixed-sport jam at the Banks to show our support and to make a stand to protect a piece of our history. If you’re reading this and want to show your support, please check us out on Facebook at Save the Brooklyn Banks Rally!
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