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Banlieue 13 (2004)

Banlieue 13 (2004)

My former favorite movie of all time... and I've never written a proper review for it! Time to right that horrible wrong.

I saw it again a few weeks ago, and confirmed that it's indeed still one of the best action movies I've ever seen. It doesn't just feature David Belle in the lead role (the founder of parkour), but the also-very-talented Cyril Raffaelli as his sidekick. The story is the same as in the remake, but including minor plot adjustments: everything is better in the original - from the soundtrack, to the scenography, to the flawless introduction, to the character relations, build-up, conclusion, choreography, everything.

Here it feels real. It makes sense. The action's full steam all the way but never too much, and it manages - maybe because the stunts are real - to always seem believable.

There's not much more to say about this. Just watch it.

If you liked the remake: watch this! If you don't want to watch both: watch this. If you've watched this one before and liked it: watch it again! It doesn't seem to ever get dull, or irrelevant, or outdated. The moral of the movie's maybe more important now than ever before, but even if all you want is some good action: this'll suffice. It's in French, but better watch the subbed version anyway, remake considering.

It's still fantastic.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

November, 2021

Banlieue 13 (2004)

Watched it again. Still awesome.

A few things strike me now though:

- Leito and Damien were never informed Taha was dead were they?
- Why would the big boss choose such a stupid detonation code?
- Wouldn't they be a bit more stressed fighting the Yeti with just ten minutes left?
- Why would Leito run up stairs just to jump back down in that final chase?

But don't sweat those details.

Even if the scenes don't all chill me as much as they did the first few times I saw this it's still fantastic, and I'm still really impressed with the first chase and escape from Taha's HQ. So fluent. So flawless.

Do you want an action movie done well? With a little fight, a little gunfight, a little witticism and cynicalism, a little chase, a little haste, a great main character duo where one fights and one runs, a little parkour, a little justice and a little hope for democracy and more?

Then watch this. It's more than a four.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

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