District 13: Ultimatum (2009)
The Leito Legacy
When I watched "District 13" I was pleasantly surprised but didn't hold out much hope that the sequel "District 13: Ultimatum" would be anything more than series of snappy martial arts fights combined with plenty of parkour. Well I was again pleasantly surprised because whilst we get what you expect which is David Belle delivering some spectacular free running whilst Cyril Raffaelli snaps out plenty of punches and kicks there is also a story driving all the action. And again like you expect it is not a complex storyline but is a decent enough vehicle to give all the action purpose.
Having successfully brought down a collective of drug lords, super cop Captain Damien Tomaso (Cyril Raffaelli) is arrested when his home is raided and planted drugs are found in his kitchen. Managing to make a call whilst under arrest he leaves a message for Leito (David Belle) to help him get out of prison. Leito has a few other things on including being handed footage of dirty DISS officers killing cops and then planting them in District 13 in order to increase tensions between those in the district and those outside. What connects the dirty DISS officers and Damien is the corrupt plans of an official to have the district blown up so he can have lucrative tower blocks built.
So as already mentioned "District 13: Ultimatum" has a storyline and to be honest whilst slim it is actually the perfect storyline for the movie. The mix of corrupt police and officials trying to have District 13 blown up so that they can build on it is enough to support all the action. And whilst not complex it does do a nice job of giving reasoning as to why Captain Tomaso would be arrested so that the few dots there are connect.
But what that really means is that as you would expect "District 13: Ultimatum" is all about the action and that means David Belle escaping capture via jumping from one roof top to another or Raffaelli as Tomaso kicking plenty of butt with snappy martial arts moves. It is undeniably entertaining especially when you have Tomaso using a rare and valuable painting as a weapon to battle a collection of bad guys. Things do go a bit too far and lets just say an action scene which you could describe as a car doing parkour is a bit too much but even in being over the top it still entertains.
And that is pretty much it other than to say that whilst a French movie which expectedly features subtitles it is incredibly easy to follow and you don't really need to read the text to get the gist of what is going on. There is more hand held camera work in this sequel than the first movie and if you are not a fan of shaky, frenetic camera work it may end up being annoying although it doesn't spoil the action and in many ways that is what is important.
What this all boils down to is that like with the first movie "District 13: Ultimatum" was a pleasant surprise as whilst the focus is on the action be it the free running or martial arts it does have a storyline to drive it on.
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