D13 - U
(aka District 13 Ultimatum/2009/Magnolia/MagNet
B Sound: B Extras: C Film: C
NOT to be confused in any way, shape
or form in being a sequel to the Academy Award-nominated District 9 (2009, reviewed elsewhere on this site), District 13 Ultimatum is a sequel to
the equally formulaic District 13
from a few years ago, written and produced by ubiquitous hack filmmaker Luc
Besson (he did not direct here, but he might as well have), it is simply a
flashy piece of trash with some restraint and more money than usual.
lucky enough to miss the original, in a plot that is sort of like the Nick
Nolte/Eddie Murphy hit 48 HRS (1982)
but for total idiots, an undercover police officer and criminal in a
(yawn) decide to reunite to take on five different head gangsters in the title
locale. Of course, this is just an
excuse for action sequences, so-so martial arts, explosions and other incidents
very thinly tied together by the closest facsimile to a plot they can come up
with, all while not admitting it is formula.
David Belle (as Leito) and Cyril Raffaelli (Captain Damien Tomaso) have limited
chemistry, the film never really adds up to much and though Besson and director
Patrick Alessandrin think they are somehow continuing the earlier tradition of
French thrillers, Noir and heist films with world cinema elements added, they
are just phoning in a phony formula film that thinks it is better than the
Hollywood equivalent it is actually imitating.
Even 48 HRS Writer/Director
Walter Hill did better when he recycled his hit as Red Heat (on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) back in
1998. It only rates as well as it does
because they did not totally screw this up.
2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image was shot in Super 35mm film format by
Director of Photography Jean-Francois Hensgens and though I expected the
digital work and quick cutting to be sloppier and image to have more motion
blur and detail troubles like most Besson work, this is much sharper, clearer
and consistent than expected. That it
looks this good is a surprise and I doubt it could look any better. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix
is also as good, though it can be harsh in some of the highs and finer
points. The combination may not be
demonstration quality, but it is professional.
include a Making Of Featurette, HDNet special on the release, Production Diary,
superfluous Music Video and Deleted & Extended Scenes that dont do much.
- Nicholas Sheffo