A review by Mr. J (@Dear_Ole_UncleJ)
This is Paul Walker’s last full appearance in any film prior to his death in November of last year. There was some recorded scenes from Fast and Furious 7, however, I do look at this as Paul Walker’s final film. This film was dedicated to Paul Walker.
Have you seen District B13(David Belle from this film is from), The Raid 2(still recovering from the intense fight scenes) or The Protector(Or any Tony Jaa film)? Good. Then you will understand why this fell short.
It’s 2018 and Detroit is a former shell of itself. So the film is not that far of a stretch of how it is nowadays. Or how it will be in 4 years for that matter. The “brick mansions” left from better times now house only the most dangerous criminals. Unable to control the crime, the police have constructed a colossal containment wall around this area to protect the rest of the city. For undercover cop Damien Collier (played by Paul Walker ie Fast and Furious), every day is a battle against corruption. For ex-convict Lino (played by David Belle ie District B13), every day is a fight to live an honest life. Their paths never should have crossed, but when drug kingpin Tremaine (RZA, a rapper? No way) kidnaps Lino’s girlfriend, Damien reluctantly accepts Lino's help and together they struggle to stop a sinister plot that involves a stolen bomb set to destroy the entire city.
Now from the opening of this film, it was clearly apparent that they wanted in on the noise that was made by District B13 back in 2004 and then again in 2009 with the sequel. Like come on. Their main character is the guy from B13. However, this so “Americanized” that what they were aiming to get from this film was lost in translation. Imagine watching District B13 again, but remove Paul Belle as the main character and put in middle aged Lucha Libra midget with no talent. Thats how it felt. I have not even gotten to Paul Walker yet..
Paul Walker provides his typical “This is stoked” performance that he normally does. What always bothered me is how he is unable to act outside of his Fast and the Furious stereotype. There was only one film that ever blew my mind which he was the lead for was Running Scared. His performance just blew me away. But in this film, very generic and on top of it all which EXTREMELY annoyed me, he tried playing the role of Paul Belle’s character from District B13. Why didn't we just call this film District B13: ‘Merica!
Furthermore, of all locations, you pick Detroit. And only 4 years in the future. Was the screenwriter even trying? Maybe because it is extremely believable. Don't take just my word for it. Here is some over reviews comments:
“This movie is brought to you by Ford!”
“You won't make it past 15 minutes in this movie before you start asking yourself... what? am I watching.”
“Paul walker comes nowhere near to Cyril Raffaeli(District B13, partner to Paul Belle) while portraying the character. Cyril was way better.”
This one made me laugh way too hard and feel sad at the same time:
“One thing.... The director needs to realize, life isn't all predictable. It maybe the actor's last movie. So please, don't immortalize him with a copy and paste movie. Its just sad and wrong. Just plain wrong.”
Rotten Tomatoes gave this is 28% rating and 5/10 seems to be an average from everyone else.
How dare you “Americanize” a classic like B13. What's next, the knock to the Raid 2 will be: The Trade: Redemption with James Van Der Beek? And the main bad guy being DMX? Not a stretch if you think of it. O and it takes place in Detroit! It has been a backdrop for what broken down cities look like since Robocop in the 80’s! Saves money on stage production. Ugh. End Rant.
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