District B13

Rated R 2006

For the twin offenses of being French and not starring Tom Cruise, District B13 -- a fanboy mash-up 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 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.

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District B13

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