main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Film: Banlieue 13

In the near future, the worst ghettos (banlieues) of Paris are literally walled off. Banlieue 13, one of the worst of them, is run by the ruthless crime lord Taha. After Leito, the hero of the story, steals and destroys a shipment of Taha's drugs, Taha retaliates by kidnapping Leito's sister Lola. Leito rescues her, but is arrested by corrupt cops, leaving his sister in Taha's clutches.

Six months later, an undercover supercop named Damien is given an urgent mission: Taha has stolen a Neutron Bomb which has an automatic timer function engaged and set to detonate in less than 24 hours. Now with time running out, Damien and Leito must work together to find and stop the bomb, but there's far more to this crisis than either of them know.

Features David Belle showcasing Le Parkour back before it was very well known in the English-speaking world. Dubbed into English as District 13 or District B13. A sequel, Banlieue 13: Ultimatum was released in 2009.

An English-language remake of this film, Brick Mansions, will be released worldwide on April 25, 2014. It once again stars David Belle, this time sharing protagonist duties with Paul Walker in his last completed role before his death.

The first movie provides examples of:

  • Bad Boss: Taha kills his mooks on the merest whim and for any failure. This comes back to bite him when they decide to kill him for his tyrannical lunacy.
  • Badass: Most of the characters.
  • Boxed Crook: Leito. Although he has his own motives to help the police.
  • Bullfight Boss: Yeti
  • Car Cushion: One of the baddies lands on one in the first major chase scene.
  • Chained Heat: Damien pretends to be a crook to get in with Leito, who works it out straight away and leaves him handcuffed to a steering wheel.
  • Chick Magnet: There are only three female characters across the two films that really have any role to speak of. Of those, two unashamedly hit on Damien and the third's his girlfriend.
  • Damsel in Distress
  • The Dragon: K2.
  • Dystopia: Banlieue 13 has turned into a crime-infested ghetto where the people live in fear of Taha and his gang, and the government has stopped trying to help and taken its hands off them.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After the umpteenth time Taha kills one of his mooks for failing him, they turn on him even when he can still pay them.
  • Engineered Public Confession
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: Taha, to his own thugs:
    You are all a bunch of useless dipshits.
  • Gay Paree
  • Giant Mook: Yeti.
  • Godwin's Law: Leito invokes this, and notably, all it does is piss Damien off.
    Damien: You don't murder two million people because you can't solve their problems!
    Leito: No? They murdered six million because none of them were blonde with blue eyes!
  • Go-Go Enslavement: To spite Leito after he almost got Taha arrested, Taha keeps Leito's sister Lola as a chained-up slave and whipping toy in his quarters, forcing her to wear a hooker outfit and feeding her his drugs.
  • Government Conspiracy: the theft of the bomb was engineered by the government to wipe out the slums.
  • Groin Attack
  • Heroic BSOD: Damien has one when the timer on the bomb reaches zero but fails to detonate, revealing that Leito's proclamation of Godwin's Law was correct - his superiors did plan on killing everyone in Banlieue 13 rather than spend the money to fix it.
  • Improvised Weapon: several, but a detached steering wheel deserves a mention.
  • I Want Them Alive: cause of the opening Chase Scene.
  • Klingon Promotion: An unusually democratic example, when after one too many impromptu executions and the loss of all his operating funds, the assembled mooks gun down Taha and immediately recognise K2 as their new leader.
  • Le Parkour: David Belle, one of the founders of parkour, plays the hero. He shows off his skills.
  • Les Cops Sportif: A rare literal example in Damien.
  • Magic Countdown: The countdown on the bomb is set for 24 hours, since it's not a series, it is shortened considerably. See also Heroic BSOD.
  • Neutron Bomb
  • Our Presidents Are Different: President Evil.
  • Thirteen Is Unlucky
  • Twenty Minutes into the Future: Man, the world is really fucked up in... 2010? But... actually, that's about right.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: It's entirely possible David Belle spends less time wearing a shirt than not. Becomes unintentionally hysterical.
  • Wire Dilemma: the code for the bomb.
  • With My Hands Tied
  • You Have Failed Me: Taha kills his mooks for their failures, repeatedly. Deconstructed when as soon as it's revealed that he's lost most of his money, his mooks turn on him.

The sequel provides examples of;

AmélieFrench FilmsThe Bear and the Doll
Bad EducationFilms of 2000 - 2004 Before Sunset

alternative title(s): District B13; Banlieue 13
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy