Dir: Ariel Zeitoun
Starring: Chau Belle Dinh, Williams Belle, Malik Diouf, Yann Hnautra

The idea here is inspired; take an urban setting (Paris), add seven guys with athletic talents that border on superpowers, and...well, unfortunately, the plot is positively cliched, as they rob from the rich in order to fund a child's heart transplant. But, oh, the action. Roof-tops, ladders, balconies and walls are their playground, and there's a poetry to their motion that occasionally reaches the sublime - particularly notable are a pair of sequences where the heroes are hunted by guard-dogs and cops. These are imaginative, stylish, and we'd love to have seen more of this, instead of the sick kid schtick that appears to have strayed in from a Disney movie.

Remarkably, the group exists in real life (four appear in Besson's Taxi 2); despite the Japanese-sounding title, their name is derived from Lingala, a language spoken in Central Africa. Written and produced by Luc Besson, the film possesses much the same cool style that stamps his work; can't help suspect Besson, like Tsui Hark, has a hand in direction beyond what's credited. Too many characters are rattling around, and it gets repetitive (there are other ways to raise money besides burglary), but such things are clearly secondary to an undeniably fabulous concept. Even if the potential isn't quite realised, this is guaranteed to drive kids everywhere up the walls. Literally.


Leap of faith
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