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I expected more - but is the film to blame?
on 2 September 2010
After seeing trailers for the first District 13 on another DVD, I thought it looked great and had to buy it - too be honest I was a little disappointed. However, that might not have been the fault of the film.
"From the mind of Luc Besson" said the credits: I put on the 1st film with anticipation - and just so that I didn't miss any of the action, I did something I never normally do: I switched the subtitles off and put the dubbing on. I'd seen the trailers and I wanted to see every second of all the stunts, jumps, kicks, thrills and spills. Sadly, though the action was great, the film on the whole was a let down. But with hind sight - looking back now (and after having just watched the 2nd instalment last night) I think that might have been down to the poor dubbing and my choice to watch the film without the original soundtrack.
Having learnt my lesson - I eventually got round to watching the second D13 (just so I could get it off my shelf and down the 2nd hand shop TBH) and remembering my last experience, I started to watch it with the original French voice over and English subtitles - and boy did it make a difference. The story was still nonsensical, but the film just seemed better somehow (I think perhaps it is anyway. It's certainly a more interesting story) and easier to take seriously. At the time of watching the first film I didn't make the connection and just put the fact that I didn't enjoy the film down to the fact that 'it was a bad film'... but after watching D13 Ultimatum, that may not be true.
I've now decided not to take the box-set down the second hand store just yet, and give the first film another go - this time with the original actor's voices and see if I enjoy it more, because overall the stunts and action in these films are quite good. Not totally amazing, but generally above par, and there's a lot of it - especially in D13 Ultimatum.
They're basically switch on the TV, switch off the brain action flicks full of guns, stunts and karate kicks. And there's a very comic book fell about he whole thing; the script, the characters, the stunts, the whole film -even the cars. And anyone who's into Parkour (free running) will probably enjoy these films a lot. France, after all, is the home of the urban sport, and I suspect the whole reason these films were written and made. With that in mind though, I'd have liked to have seen, and was expecting to see more.
The jury's out for me on these - I kind of enjoyed them, they had their moments and they're an OK watch. But they didn't blow me away in the way I was expecting. That said though, it's possible they're brilliant and I'm just missing something... Whatever you decide - if you buy them - just make sure you watch them as intended - without the subtitles.
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