The sequel to Banlieue 13 was better than I remembered!
Since the perils of their former adventure: not much has changed in the state of Leito (David Belle) and Damien (Cyril Raffaelli)'s lives. The former's still doing his best to tear down the walls around his neighborhood - from the inside, and the latter's doing his best to catch the criminals outside it. Lola? She's a lose end, as is K2 and his crew. But life in the ghetto's still as chaotic as ever, and though the gangs have it in a mutual choke hold, Leito now seems to be on good terms with all.
How did that happen? Wasn't he at war with the gangs? Loose ends.
This all changes when a new mystery villain enters the scene though, and threatens to not only tear down the walls of the district, but the entire district, and build up a new one in it's place. It's not the government this time, though both our main character's are quickly framed and find themselves on the wrong side of the law, battling both crooks and (both crooked and non) law enforcement alike, and eventually gathering together the big gangs in District 13 for one big raid on the capital.
They make a good team, and the movie adds in a few new; interesting characters for the final fight, though most of the action's still in the beginning phase of the movie. The hype for the final showdown quickly outgrows the actual showdown, and the plot overall... it just doesn't feel as well-planned as the previous. It feels like a sequel for the purpose of a sequel more than for the sake of being conclusive, because it´s really just the same thing once again- with a few new figures on both sides, and an even more endearing set of stunts, albeit with a more optimistic ending.
It's a good movie though, in retrospect. It doesn't have anything particularly new to it, but does bring back most good elements of the former successfully, and take them to a higher level. So as far as sequels go it does a pretty good job! It's no match to the original, but if you want more of the former: this is it. This and (the somewhat unwillingly mentioned combined remake) Brick Mansions.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle
The more times you watch a movie the more details you notice.
Leito having photographic flashbacks whilst listening to Damien's call, the corridors of his buildings being covered in graffiti - though those walls were off limits in the first movie, and all of them actually deciding to blow up the whole neighborhood at the end of this? So many things feel off. When he was putting out mines in the beginning I thought it was just the walls he wanted to tear down. Destroy and rebuild after all huh.
The parkour though: feels right. And the fights. Any ones that involve either Cyril Raffaelli or both Cyril Raffaelli and Diavid Belle... or on that one rare occasion the magnificent lady Elodie Yung.
Love those moments, but the big picture? It's a repeat without much additional merit and little sense of urgency - even when they add in the ultimatum. Script was good though. It could have been good.
I'm reviewing the dubbed version this time btw, which doesn't exactly make it better. It's not bad, but not authentic either. Almost cartoony sometimes.
I guess I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this movie. I like what it is, but would have loved to see what it could have been.
Like the first.
rated 3.5/5: not bad at all