For the twin offenses of being French and not starring Tom Cruise, District B13 a fanboy mashup of John Carpenter's greatest hits is getting exiled to the art-house ghetto. Spread the word: This delirious import is the most (maybe the only) fun action movie of the summer swift, funny, filled with actual stunts instead of digitized mayhem, and primed at a moment's notice for megaton ass-kicking. Set in 2010 Paris, it fuses Escape from New York's futuristic city-as-prison concept with Assault on Precinct 13's bristling political subtext, as an undercover cop (Cyril Raffaelli) and a vigilante (David Belle) battle their way through a walled-in underclass neighborhood while searching for a massive "clean bomb." The plot is mostly straight-to-video silliness, except for a final kicker that feeds off the real-life unrest seething in Paris's strife-torn suburbs. But Belle a master of parkour, the French extreme sport/martial art devoted to the casual hurdling of physical obstacles brings an exhilarating athleticism to the many chases and fights.
Now showing at select local theaters
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