Writer-producer Luc Besson’s pulpy mix of duff cop movie and parkour thrills has already given us two Paris-based ‘District 13’ flicks. Now rundown Detroit is the key location in this same-again reboot. The death of co-star Paul Walker will probably garner the film more attention than it deserves, since it follows the bog-standard formula perfected by the French filmmaking powerhouse: it combines functional storylining with competent action highlights and an occasional air of whimsy. This time, series mainstay David Belle hops, skips and jumps his way through another non-acting turn as the street-tough idealist out to stop drug lord RZA flooding the streets, while undercover cop Walker (stolid as ever) has his own family reasons for targeting the narcotics kingpin. Chases on foot and four wheels keep the thing moving, but apart from a thematic wrinkle where Besson’s clearly siding with the hood rather than the lawmakers, it’s all pretty predictable. RZA seems way too cool for this shameless filler, but he does keep a straight face while evidently sending up the role in not one, but two sequences where the badass dude shows off his cooking skills.
Cast and crew