Six years ago a highly athletic sporting event burst on the scene from France called “Parkour”. It was a bit hard to describe, but agile participants would leap off buildings, slip through tiny spaces, bounce from wall to wall, race down staircases a flight at a time and generally fly through urban landscapes, miraculously not slipping or injuring themselves. The activity was captured in a mediocre French action film called Banlieue 13 (District B13 in the USA), quickly forgotten by all but the most devoted fans.
If you’re an action fan, you already know – and respect – the name Luc Besson. The force behind The Transporter, Taken, The Fifth Element, The Professional and La Femme Nikita, he’s mastered the art of high-energy action cinema. Besson is both the writer and producer of District 13: Ultimatum, and it shows. There are many inside jokes and amusing homage scenes to both Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon and Jackie Chan in any of the zillion movies he’s made, and it’s no accident that the evil corporation behind the story is “Harriburton”, with a logo startlingly similar to the real-life Halliburton Corporation.