Parkour Craziness Returns in District B13 Sequel
Following the news of Ong Bak 2 today, we have another studied martial arts film in the works District B14 (aka Banlieue 14), which is a sequel to the 2004 French film District B13. The original film is noteworthy for its depiction of parkour, which is essentially a style of physical activity in which individuals run, jump and scale mainly urban obstacles without the use of wires or CGI. Jackie Chan is probably one of the more well known practitioners of the form; though the style was pioneered by David Belle, who appears as one of the leads in District B13. Judging from the original, B14 promises to be overloaded with insane stunts and action, all with some kickass French aggression.
Many may not have seen District B13, but you probably saw one of that film's leads in Live Free or Die Hard. Cyril Raffaelli played the mostly mute French badass that chased Bruce Willis throughout much of the film, and also choreographed fight sequences for The Incredible Hulk. While it's not known whether Raffaelli or Belle will return for the sequel, I think it's safe to say that they should, considering the pair's skills. If they don't, I'd be hard-pressed to maintain my interest in the project.
The original movie is named for the crime-ridden slum in which two guys (Belle & Raffaelli) do battle against a gang leader to rescue one's sister and disarm a nuclear warhead. The film is gritty and utterly gratuitous when it comes to stunts and action sequences, but that's certainly not a slight. These guys, I must say, put some of Jackie Chan's work to shame. There's no word on wheher B14 will pick up where the previous film left off. Not that it matters very much. The movie would still hold appeal even if the plot surrounded a trip to the grocery store. Luc Besson, of Run Lola Run and Fifth Element fame, returns as the writer. Patrick Alessandrin, of French films you've probably never head of, is set to direct. Production begins this July and will shoot through October.