Banlieue 13 (2004)

Banlieue13.jpgSaw this once on pirate cable TV years ago. It’s nonstop French action with English subtitles. This was years before I learned about that wonderful art of jumping through windows and landing like Peter Parker. Parkour, it is called, probably a French word for something.

The actors are a bunch of unknowns (to me) but the action beats are familiar. The plot, there’s a nuke hijacked and lost in B13 (Banlieue as in Block or District?) and it’s up for a cop (played by a French Vin Diesel) and the Parkour guy to get to it first before the bad guys could activate it. Relentless fighting ensued–gunfights, knife-fights, Parkour, mixed martial arts, heck, even one gangster has to eat the Parkour guy’s sister’s panties at one point (no, not what you’re thinking–she probably wore it for three days tops). And Parkour guy’s sister used to do porn. (Yeah, I did my homework.)

But the fights were tight and refreshing (the first time around, most probably repetitive and exhausting on a second go). And there’s one big surprise in the end—which borrows the idea from the first cut off Dead KennedysFresh Fruits for Rotting Vegetables. Yeah, the chorus of which, goes “Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill the poor! Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill the poor!” The government was like “Let’s nuke ’em motherfuckers!” (Or do it like Duterte’s Drug War, if you have no nukes). Now, that’s something definitely worth fighting/dying/parkouring/whatever for.

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