Dictrict 13: Ultimatum


OK, yes, more of the same of the original, but that is saying something. Good movie? No, not really, but rip roaring fun and jaw-dropping stunts and fighting. Viewed as extreme dance, way cool. Definitely done with more money than B13 was, but it didn’t lose itself in that trap, using the $$s to improve film quality and the occasionl prop and site rental. Not for everyone, but if you love Jackie Chan for the choreography, you’ll love this.



OK, this is gonna be a long one—but there is so much that needs to be said. But if you’re looking for the quick answer: it isn’t a wasted 2 hours, but we probably wouldn’t watch it again.

So, where do you start with a musical.. and one that you may have actually seen when it was first opened on Broadway? The good: incredible visuals and dancing. Great female performances and engaging music. But it all misses the mark and the point. Marshall blows it from the first scene that is there to establish Contini’s duality of man and child, artist and husband. He opts for fun choreography and tight close-ups, but loses the division and internal struggle. You also just never believe this man is a genius—everyone tells you he is, but we really never get to see that. He comes across as a faker. In truth, Felini may have even found that aspect amusing.

As to Daniel Day-Lewis, he is no Raul Julia, who played the part originally. He has none of the joy of life that Julia had. This is probably a directorial and editorial issue as they also cut songs and moments from the original that caught those aspects. All of Lewis’ joy and creativity is shown only as he watches the fantasies he creates.. and then it is almost only watching a woman he knows singing and dancing… he only participates once, by proxy, as a boy.

Ultimately, this was never going to be a crowd pleaser film. Nine is not a happy and light story (and neither is 8 ½). It is Felini fer chrissakes! And worse, how many people even remember who and what Felini was to film and art? So, I won’t say don’t watch it, but take it as a variety show of some great moments that never quite come together into a story you’ll care about.

Art, writing, life explained… or at least commented upon…