Banlieue 13: poetic senseless violence

August 29th, 2006

banlieue_13_poster.jpgLuc Besson strikes again. The guy has a passion for stunts and martial arts, but this movie from 2004 is far better than the Transporters and doesn't make the slightest effort to be funny or charming, in stark contrast to the Taxis. It is a far more focused effort - focused on long, intense action sequences that stir your imagination.

How often do you see a truly violent movie that ends in a morality tale saying that violence is not the solution to our problems? If you can stand to ignore your instincts for a tight plot, solid casting and a proper escalation of the story, there is a chance you may really enjoy Banlieue 13. The mass killing scenes do get tedious at times, but the movie features some ground breaking stunts, based on parkour, the discipline of running at and jumping over urban obstacles at a high pace. It is a sight to behold, especially considering that most of these scenes were made without any kind of technical aid. So much cooler than yet another car chase.

Then, of course, comes the added benefit of bragging rights for watching classy European cinema "a film, is what it is", rather than the same old Hollywood productions remade over and over. Until your friends see it and call your bluff, that is.

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5 Responses to "Banlieue 13: poetic senseless violence"

  1. erik says:

    I read the review, never got around to watching it. I might now. Even up the score a bit since your Jurassic Park trilogy adventures

  2. numerodix says:

    Funny thing is, with the Paris riots fresh in memory, this movie makes quite the political comment in that direction. Which, if I'm not mistaken, was shot before any riots actually took place.

  3. ash says:

    How often do you see a truly violent movie that ends in a morality tale saying that violence is not the solution to our problems?

    A History of Violence. Or at least I think that's what the film was trying to say, but it undermined the argument completely in the end. Because violence might not be the solution to our problems, but it does make for great movie scenes.

  4. Nawaf says:

    Saw and Saw II come to mind

  5. [...] a decent job with the parkour, but frankly if you want to see coolass parkour, you’ll go see Banlieue 13, which is much better at [...]